Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Cold in July” as Want to Read:
Cold in July
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Cold in July

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,568 Ratings  ·  183 Reviews
Richard Dane shoots and kills a gun-wielding burglar in his living room. It's clearly a case of self-defense, but the dead man’s father, Ben Russel, doesn't see it that way. Russel wants to extract Old Testament-style justice: an eye-for-an-eye, a son-for-a-son. Straightforward menace takes a 90-degree turn, though, when certain unexpected truths come to light, and soon Da ...more
Paperback, 234 pages
Published 2001 by Phoenix (first published 1989)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Cold in July, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Cold in July

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Sep 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature
Well. This just fucking rules. Shootemups and badguys turned goodguys and goodguys turned badguys and snuff films and twistyplots and crooked feds and tough, mean dudes who look (in my head) like Danny Trejo, and all that stuff that makes crime fiction fun, but with more to it than bam-bam and dames and bam-bamming dames and dames getting bambammed. It's a smart little study of suburban malaise, nature/nurture, parental ineptitude and the dynamics of male relationships, tucked inside what appear ...more
May 21, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a re-release of a book published in 1989 tied to the movie version coming out. It is the tale of an ordinary man whose life is shaken up by a crime that threatens his family who then becomes obsessed with resolving a mystery and proving himself in the sphere of violent action. It taps into feelings of purpose behind protecting home and hearth and forces you ask how far you would go to seek justice.

Richard runs a framing shop in rural East Texas. The first scene has him waking at night i
It's pretty well-known by this point that Joe Lansdale is probably the most versatile author out there, able to successfully jump at whim between so many genres and make it all seem so fresh. Cold in July is a straight -up crime thriller, with a completely different feel and tone from other books I've read by him, including his recent westerns or the comedic adventures of Hap and Leonard.

The novel is initially about the clash between family man Richard Dane, who kills a man trying to burglarize
Jun 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Note: I first wrote this review in 2010 when I first started reviewing books at Goodreads. It was a brief review simply for the fact I read the novel in the late 90s and the details were not as vivid at the time. Now, thanks to the release of the film in 2014 and the rerelease of Cold in July> by Tachyon Publications, I was encouraged to read it again. The first part of this review are my first thoughts in 2010 followed by my new assessment.

This hard-nosed thriller by Joe R. Lansdale is easy
Nov 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, horror
COLD IN JULY starts out with a bang - literally - when everyman Richard Dane is forced to shoot an intruder intent on robbing and possibly murdering his family. Never having murdered someone, Richard is having a hard time of it. He's replaced the bloodstained couch and painted the wall but he still can't forget that awful night.

Overwhelmed with guilt, he attends the funeral of the small time crook and is spotted by the dead man's dangerous ex-con father. Dear old Dad is none too happy with his s
Kiwi Begs2Differ  ✎
I liked this gritty novel, it’s a classic hardboiled crime fiction piece. I can understand that, because of the violence involved, Lansdale may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I really like his dark writing style.
This novel deals with intense father-son relationships, Russel is an ex-con with a peculiar sense of justice, when he learns that his son Freddie has been killed while carrying out an home invasion he wants revenge, however (view spoiler)
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night
With every new Lansdale I meet I am amazed afresh at his ability to tell a great story, a story that's dark and twisted and terribly human, a story with interesting characters and authentic feeling locales, a story that grips and entertains and makes you ponder what life is all about, basically genre writing at its finest. And Cold in July is all of these things, despite seeing the fantastic movie several times there's plenty to be discovered and enjoyed within the pages of Lansdale's writing, a ...more
Steve Vernon
Dec 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I met Joe at a New York horror convention. He gave me a copy of this and told me it was his personal favorite of all he's ever written. It's a helluva read from a helluva nice guy.
Aug 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid read. The strengths of this book are in the originality of the story and the willingness of Lansdale to constantly make sharp turns never letting the reader predict the direction the story will take.

The characterization is good, if not always fully developed, but the pace of the story and the surprises throughout make for a really enjoyable read.

A fun, quick read that deserves to be rediscovered.
Frank Errington
May 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Review copy

While it's true I haven't read all of Joe R. Lansdale's books, I've read enough to know I love his stuff. Whether he's being serious or off the wall, there's always a level of believably in his stories.

I guess you could call Cold In July a crime novel, but it certainly has elements of horror. Not monster horror. Real horror. The horror we read about in the newspaper or watch on the nightly news. The kind of horror that makes any sane person ask, "How could someone do something like th
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Alcatraz: Jack Folla un DJ nel braccio della morte
  • Enigma in luogo di mare
  • Death's Dark Abyss
  • L'isola dell'angelo caduto
  • Resurrection Man
  • La cura
  • Hard Bite
  • Spiriti
  • Una questione privata - I ventitre giorni della città di Alba
  • Players
  • The Hustler
  • Out There Bad
  • Peckerwood
  • Musica: Un'interpretazione psicoanalitica di un caso di frigidità
  • Blue Belle (Burke, #3)
  • As rosas de Atacama
  • House of Splendid Isolation
  • The Missing Head of Damasceno Monteiro
Champion Mojo Storyteller Joe R. Lansdale is the author of over forty novels and numerous short stories. His work has appeared in national anthologies, magazines, and collections, as well as numerous foreign publications. He has written for comics, television, film, newspapers, and Internet sites. His work has been collected in more than two dozen short-story collections, and he has edited or co-e ...more
More about Joe R. Lansdale...

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“I’m so bored I could sing to my dick.” 4 likes
More quotes…