Jane Goes North

Subterranean. Mar. 2020. 232p. ISBN 9781596069381. $40. F
Jane is fired from her job at the laundry after she fails to remove a ketchup packet from a jacket. When her sister’s wedding invitation arrives, she decides to make her way to New England from her Texas town, although she knows none of her sisters expect her to show up. She finds a ride share offer from Henrietta, a large woman who lifts weights and has one eye and a suspended license—but owns a car. The opinionated women immediately lock horns, but they end up driving toward Boston. Along the way, they face panty-snatchers in a 24-hour store, a thief in a motor-powered machine, and attempted kidnapping by modern-day slavers when they stop for gas. They manage to save themselves and a number of other women. The kindness of a liquor store clerk and a country music singer set Jane and Henry on the road north again. The escapades of these two outspoken women couldn’t be any more outrageous.
VERDICT Lansdale follows his latest “Hap and Leonard” installment, The Elephant of Surprise, with this over-the-top picaresque novel. The crude humor and quirky characters will appeal to the author’s fans.

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