The Marauders by Tom Cooper
Following the BP oil spill in the Gulf coast that devastates the shrimping economy of Louisiana the men of the shrimping industry find themselves devastated and desperate to recover. Now, this low country of Louisiana is home to a whole different way of life that you and I might be used to. And desperate times call for desperate measures they say. The characters Mr. Cooper gives us are priceless. We can only shake our head in imagining one armed Gus Lindquist, a down and out shrimper who keeps his Oxycontin in a Pez dispenser and is obsessed with finding the sunken treasure of pirates along the coast, particularly that of Jean Lafitte. Gus finds himself tangled up in the lives of the Toup brothers, twins who have a huge stand of marijuana on one of the islands. They are convinced Gus is marauding their crop and doggedly keep after him with threats. We also have teenager Wes Trench, whose father is losing his shrimp business but who Wes can’t forgive for choices made during Katrina. We hold out all hope for Wes. Then there’s Grimes, a native of the area but who escaped to a new life. He now works for the insurance companies trying to force the shrimpers to sign settlements before lawsuits begin. The list goes on and each person on it is more outrageous to us than the one before.
Of course these people must all converge at some point and hope to survive. This book, given to me by Blogging for Books, was both tragic and funny and mysterious and otherworldly for me. Loved it.