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Act of Love

3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  470 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews

Telling the tautly plotted story of a modern Jack the Ripper's spree in Houston, Lansdale creates a powerful combination of crime, police work, and social commentaryall with an eye for graphic detail. Act of Love, his first novel, is a collector's item for Lansdale's old fans and essential reading for his new ones.

Paperback, 301 pages
Published March 1st 1981 by Zebra (first published 1981)
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Sep 14, 2015 Karl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I own two different editions of this book. 1. The British Kinnell edition published in 1989 and 2. the Subterranean Press edition published in 2012 containing a new introduction by Lansdale and the additional story "A Bone Dead Sadness" and finally an interview with Mr. Lansdale. There was also a slipcase edition of this book published earlier by Cemetery Dance in 1992 but did not include the extra story.
Act of Love is Joe R. Lansdale's first full-length novel, an expeditiously paced crime story that pulls no punches in the gruesome department. A young Lansdale finds his voice in this grisly tale about a savage serial killer terrorizing the city of Houston and the hard-boiled cop determined to bring him down. By any means necessary. This novel is a must read for all Lansdale fans, for it shines like the shimmering glint from a knife blade on what is still to come from the master of mojo storytel ...more
Clark Hallman
Dec 04, 2014 Clark Hallman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Act of Love by Joe R. Lansdale (digital edition 2014, first published 1981) – Act Of Love was Lansdale’s first published book and it is a terrific battle between Houston homicide detective (Marvin Hanson) and his partner and a modern-day Jack The Ripper who brutally murders women. Marvin becomes obsessed with the hunt and desperately pursues all leads, including those that point to suspects close to him. The Hanson character is a very interesting long-time homicide detective who is known as Gori ...more
Nilo Di Stefano
May 06, 2016 Nilo Di Stefano rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un genio del male, un genio dei dialoghi, un genio del thriller. Quando leggi Lansdale sai gia che dovrai avere stomaco per arrivare fino in fondo, ma consapevole anche che sarai più che soddisfatto della lettura.
Il ritmo è serrato e scorre tutto molto velocemente, ma sia ben inteso, non velocemente che passa in fretta, perché le immagini vivide di ogni situazione raccolte in quelle pagine, saranno veri e propri pugni allo stomaco.
La trama non è fitta, non è complessa ( non è quello il pregio de
incipit mania
Pearl Harbor non è soltanto quella bombardata dai giapponesi......

Atto d'amore
Sep 03, 2012 Metagion rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book was written in the 80s, so there are references that(younger)readers won't get (as in, "typewriters" lol) but all in all I thought it was a great book, because not only does it tell you about one of Hap and Leonard's closest friends Marvin Hanson, but it also tells of two of his toughest cases, and gives you some background on (or I *should* say "fleshes out" other stories in the Hap and Leonard stories) so that's really great. The only problem I had was the fact is that it was dated a
May 29, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Normally a lurid cover like this would indicate a very sensationalized story, and it does.But the author is Joe R Lansdale, Who went on to write some really great stuff, Mostly in the horror, Mystery and Western fields. I read a few of his books and absolutely love them, Including his book The Bottoms Which was one of the best Suspense/crime novels I've ever read. Last month I ordered a bunch of books by him and I can't wait to read more that he's written. I've always loved his short stories and ...more
Spencer Abbott
Jul 25, 2016 Spencer Abbott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not exactly sure how I feel about Mr. Lansdale's debut novel, but one thing for sure: it's a page-turner. I read it in a single day, which is rare for me (I think the last book I can remember reading in a single sitting was Jurassic Park). Lansdale knows how to turn a phrase and keep the reader glued to the page, even in the midst of some seriously twisted gore (and I have a pretty strong stomach when it comes to such in both literature and film).

post-script: after letting the book sit in my gul
Marco Mancinelli
Jun 04, 2016 Marco Mancinelli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Questo è il primo romanzo di Lansdale, scritto all'inizio degli anni '80. Lo spunto per la trama gli è venuto leggendo una tesina universitaria della moglie, laureanda in criminologia.
Chi conosce a fondo Lansdale si renderà conto che questa sua prima opera risente molto delle raffinatezze stilistiche cui l'autore ha abituato i suoi lettore nel corso degli anni.
Atto d'amore è un romanzo acerbo, sotto molti aspetti, ma allo stesso tempo genuino. La storia è credibile, anche nei punti in cui i pers
Aug 15, 2008 LJ rated it did not like it
Lansdale, Joe R - standalone

Telling the tautly plotted story of a modern Jack the Ripper's spree in Houston, Lansdale creates a powerful combination of crime, police work, and social commentary--all with an eye for graphic detail.

Absolutely none of the characters had any redeeming social values - I couldn't have cared less about any of them. Not for me.
Fantasy Literature
Originally published in 1981, Joe R. Lansdale’s Act of Love is a serial-killer thriller. A year before Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon took us into the mind of a sadistic serial killer, Lansdale was doing it, giving us chapters in the point of view of a necrophiliac, sadistic, misogynist cannibal as he terrorizes the city of Houston, Texas.

Act of Love is set in the 1980s and follows the murders committed by the Houston Hacker. The “Hacker” was given his name by a local tabloid, and he is correspondin
Matteo Pellegrini

Vent'anni fa si apriva la drammatica (e spettacolare...) stagione dei serial killer: "Una nuova specie, un mutante sociale. Un prodotto della nostra civiltà, un uomo moderno, capace di sopravvivere nella nostra insensibile società tecnologica". Cosí scrive Joe R. Lansdale in "Atto d'amore", l'opera con cui esordisce nel 1981, una potente miscela di giallo, 'noir' e commento sociale, "un romanzo importante" come afferma Andrew Vachss nell'introduzione, che anticipa e contiene tutti i libri e i fi

Mike Driver
This book is from early in Joe Lansdale’s career c 1980. But it points the way to many of the themes and structures he revisits in his later writing. The basic premise is Jack the Ripper revisited, although this time he is self referentially known as The Houston Hacker. And, on the side of all that is good, we have the honest durable black cop, Marvin Hanson. But who is the Hacker? And why does he know so much about police procedures? And why...but now I’m in danger of giving too much away... a ...more
Apr 16, 2013 Jack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome. Couldn't put it down.
Heath Lowrance
Joe Lansdale's first published novel, from 1981, was released in the early days of the serial killer craze that gripped the reading and movie-watching public in the '80's, the zeitgeist that culminated in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, but kept hobbling along after that until most of us were sick unto death of serial killer stories.

The story is simple: a depraved killer, The Houston Hacker, goes around slicing up women, and a detective, Marvin Hanson, pursues him. There are a couple of twists and turns
May 26, 2012 Jimbose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joe R. Lansdale è uno scrittore prolifico: in quasi 30 anni ha pubblicato una trentina di romanzi e qualche centinaio di racconti.
Questo è il primo romanzo di Joe Lansdale. Fu scritto nel 1979 e pubblicato nel 1981. Per la verità, era già riuscito a farsi pubblicare alcuni racconti, però questo è il primo lavoro in cui ha cercato di seguire una propria via. È questo il romanzo che, pur tra qualche farraginosità, riesce a mostrare l’originalità di Lansdale.
Lansdale, in “Atto d’amore”, cerca di s
Callie S.
Quando sviluppi il culto di un autore (e il mio per Lansdale è, appunto, culto), le opere prime possono metterti in serio imbarazzo.
Vale poco.
Non vale abbastanza.
Poteva fare meglio.
Per quanto fondato su premesse surreali (non si può mai giudicare il prima alla luce del dopo), il confronto diventa inevitabile e approda a esiti scontati.
Atto d'amore non è un romanzo perfetto: c'è qualcosa di meccanico nei dialoghi e di posticcio nei caratteri. S'intravede, tuttavia, anche una grandissima for
Randy Evans
Oct 22, 2015 Randy Evans rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Act of Love" Joe R. Lansdale's first full length novel deals with a vicious serial killer and the homicide detective who desperately hunts him. Detective Marvin Hanson soon finds his family in danger when the killer goes after them. I read many Lansdale books and all of them are what one would call "hard hitting" and this one his first is truly that and of course like all his books it takes place in Texas. A good read indeed.
Jul 16, 2016 Jon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lansdale's first novel and it has his trademark grit and gallows humor. The Houston Hacker ranks right up beside Hannibal Lector in the ranks of creepy literary villains. Also includes another novella, A Bone Dead Sadness, which, like Act Of Love, features Marvin Hanson a main character from the Hap And Leonard series.
Three-and-a-half. The first novel by Joe R. Lansdale lacks the dark-East Texas-humor that would come to be his trademark. What it doesn't lack is a fast-paced plot that twists and turns until the last page. Still, could have used a couple of Joe R.'s patented vulgar down-home-isms.
Robin Edman
Unusually predictable for a Lansdale book, but it did answer my curiosity about why Marvin left the force. This is what happens when you read the books out of order. Still good, just not the stellar that I expect from this author.
Sara (Empress Pengy)

Noir-ish splatterpunk. I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. While at times the writing was a bit stilted & the bad guy was fairly easy to predict for fans of the genre, the mystery was still solid and the MC was actually quite well rounded.

The main negative comes in the short story that was tacked on in my edition. There was no real resemblance to the character that had been developed in the novel - only the names were really the same.
Warren Baker
Feb 17, 2016 Warren Baker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was nice to see Marvin Hanson in a much different light than in the Hap and Leonard novels. It's hard to believe this was Joe Lansdale's first novel
John Grazide
Just when you think you know "who dunnit" there is a twist you don't see. A little dated but still enjoyable.
Mirko Liang
I recall I could hardly put it down. So tense and thrilling.
Victoria Mitchell
this story was a bit gruesome for my liking, but it was easy to read and enjoyable.
May 04, 2015 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Il primo lavoro di Lansdale è un romanzo tagliato con l'accetta, tirato al punto giusto e potente di uno stile diretto che non ammette repliche.
E' un giallo per stomaci forti, che non gira intorno ma va dritto al punto. Qui i cattivi sono CATTIVI senza mezze misure e Lansdale gli rende merito con delle descrizione da pelle d'oca, crude, come se fossero vere.
Certo la trama non è originale, e ci sono delle pecche qua e la (come per esempio l'ambientazione, non troppo approfondita) ma che stile!
4 s
Dave Pope
Good fast read. Serial killer, chase, novel that is gritty and violent as well as entertaining. The line between this being a thriller and a horror novel is blurred as it could be either in that Lansdale doesn't pull punches with the violent content or with the suspense that he creates in the story. Kind of like putting James Patterson and Richard Laymon in a blender.
Jun 17, 2015 Roberta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2006, thriller
Primo romanzo di Lansdale,
esordio del 1981, ripescato dopo l'enorme successo dello scrittore in Italia. Un'insolita ambientazione metropolitana e una trama forse ancora grossolana che si fa riscattare dalla crudezza e della velocità di questo thriller.
Lansdale scrisse questo romanzo sull'onda della rabbia provata a causa di un'eccessiva attenzione dei media nei confronti dei serial killer a fronte un quasi totale disinteresse nei confronti delle vittime.
Little Icelander
Jan 06, 2014 Little Icelander rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Libro orrendo, scritto con i piedi da qualsiasi punto di vista, completamente privo di pathos. Mentre lo leggevo ero incredulo, un autore blasonato come Lansdale produce una roba così grossolana da sembrare scritta da un ragazzino delle medie. Da dimenticare.
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Joe R. Lansdale is the winner of the British Fantasy Award, the American Horror Award, the Edgar Award, and six Bram Stoker Awards. He lives in Nacogdoches, Texas.
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“Marvin: – La necrofilia ce l’abbiamo sepolta dentro. Uno dei miei libri, Storia della tortura e della morte, parla delle atrocità che abbiamo commesso in nome della giustizia e della vendetta. Spesso erano peggiori dei crimini originali. L’uomo è un animale sanguinario.” 2 likes
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