This book was a combination of things for me - a bit of comedy, a bit of tragedy, and a lot of Louisiana. The characters in the book struggle with two devastating environmental factors - Hurricane Katrina, and the BP Gulf Coast Oil Spill. You are first introduced to two brothers - the Toup brothers - who are looking out for their territory (which hides their very special secret stash of something special, if you know what I mean) and spot Gus Lindquist who is roaming a bit too close to their property. But Gus isn't looking for their stash. He's looking for gold. Since Hurricane Katrina, so much of people's stuff has ended up in the swamp which Gus collects and sells for cash. He has made his share of enemies by using his medal detector to sell off his findings, but things for him get much worse he realizes his prosthetic arm is gone.
But these aren't the only hardships we hear about in the tale. Next we have father and son shrimping team Wes and his father. Sadly, they lost Wes' mom in Hurricane Katrina, they both have been battling those memories since the day she was gone. Both are battling the impact of the BP Oil Spill as Wes' father struggles to keep himself afloat as a shrimp fisherman. But when Wes resolves to finish his boat and cuts ties with his father, he begins to face exactly what it means to fight for what you want and not lose yourself amongst the struggles.
In another part of the bayou, coming out of prison, Cosgrove partners up with a fellow parolee, Hanson, an opportunity steal the goods out of an elderly woman's house to re-sell. But then they come across even more trouble when the mess with none other than the Toup brothers.
I wasn't sure if I was going to like these characters, but despite their often unappealing and appalling ways, each of them became endearing to me (except for the Toup brothers who remained a threat for most of the book; but even them I got to know a bit better).
The shrimping community comes alive in this book and the competition to sustain a life among the tragedies following Hurricane Katrina and the BP Oil Spill make each person you come across likable and understandable. Each character provides good humor to bounce off of such as Gus' corny knock knock jokes.
In my mind, I thought it was more a guy book (not a lead or supporting female character among them) and there is some mildly uncomfortable violence throughout, I had a heart for these characters and their woes and struggles. As for the ending, I was very satisfied, even though it had a sad twinge to it.
I would highly recommend this book if you want to experience the lives of unique, but dysfunctional characters. Cooper's vivid depiction of the Louisiana area made me feel like I was there and his ability to portray the dialect of the region was perfect.
Purchase the book now by visiting this link to Random House website.
I received the above titled book in exchange for my honest review.