Act of Love

Act of Love

Illustration By Timothy Truman

Dust jacket by Timothy Truman

Interior illustrations by Glenn Chadbourne

In 1981, Joe R. Lansdale, then a noted short story writer, published his first novel, a paperback original entitled Act of Love. A ferocious account of the search for a killer known as the Houston Hacker, Lansdale’s debut was written years before the Hannibal Lecter phenomenon left its mark on American popular culture, years before the “serial killer novel” became a distinct — and highly marketable — publishing category. Thirty years after its initial appearance, this pioneering novel continues to exert a raw but undeniable narrative force.

Set in the vividly evoked urban squalor of Houston, Texas, Act of Love moves with great authority between the disordered mind of a compulsive killer and the increasingly desperate perspectives of the policemen who hunt him. In the process, it offers a detailed portrait of a complex murder investigation and anatomizes a city under siege, a city held hostage by a latter day Jack the Ripper.

As long time Lansdale readers will note, Act of Love introduces the soon-to-be-familiar figure of homicide detective Marvin Hanson. More importantly, it introduces, in embryonic form, some characteristic authorial virtues: the deceptively effortless prose, the flawless sense of place, the graphic depiction of inhuman violence, and the casually profane, instantly recognizable Lansdale humor. Unavailable for far too long, Act of Love makes a welcome reappearance in this deluxe anniversary edition, which includes the definitive text of the novel, a new introduction by the author, and a never before published short story featuring Marvin Hanson. The result is a significant — and necessary — act of rediscovery and an irresistible gift for Lansdale aficionados old and new.

The Subterranean Press edition of Act of Love will contain not only the novel proper but a brand new 10,000 word novelette, written in the spirit of the original novel, and possibly featuring the protagonist. Timothy Truman will provide a full-color dust jacket, while Glen Chadbourne contributes copious black and white interiors. Act of Love proudly takes its place alongside the other essential Lansdale titles The God of the Razor and Deadman’s Road on any collector’s permanent shelf.

Trade: Fully cloth bound hardcover edition
Limited: 200 numbered copies, bound in leather, signed by author, housed in a custom slipcase

From Publishers Weekly:
“Thirty-two years after its original release, Lansdale’s pivotal first novel still retains its shocking horror and clarity… Both [the novel and story] showcase Lansdale’s clean, crisp writing and deft characterization, as well as descriptions vivid enough to give the most jaded reader nightmares.”

From SFRevu:
"If you are a Lansdale fan but have never had the chance to read him early on then you are in for a treat. If you like horror, or, to be more exact, realism tinged with horror, then you are also in for a treat... Definitely recommended and definitely pleased that Subterranean Press decided to put in back into print."

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Timothy Truman
Joe R. Lansdale
258 pages
United States
Out of Print