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Hank Thompson is living off the map in Mexico with a bagful of cash that the Russian mafia wants back and many, many secrets. So when a Russian backpacker shows up in town asking questions, Hank tries to play it cool. But he knows the jig is up when the backpacker mentions the money…and the family Hank left behind. Suddenly Hank’s in a desperate race to get to his parents in California before anyone can harm them. Along the way he’ll face Federales and Border Patrol, mafiosi and vigilantes, extortionists and drug dealers, and a couple of psychotic surf bums with an ax to grind.
From the golden beaches of the Yucatán to the seedy strip clubs of Vegas, Charlie Huston opens a door to the squalid underworld of crime and corruption–and invites the reader to live it in the extreme.
With his teaching career derailed by tragedy and his slacker days numbered, Webster Fillmore Goodhue makes an unlikely move and joins Clean Team, charged with tidying up L.A.’s grisly crime scenes. For Web, it’s a steady gig, and he soon finds himself sponging a Malibu suicide’s brains from a bathroom mirror and flirting with the man’s bereaved and beautiful daughter.
Then things get weird: The dead man’s daughter asks a favor. Every cell in Web’s brain tells him to turn her down, but something makes him hit the Harbor Freeway at midnight to help her however he can. Soon enough it’s Web who needs the help when gun-toting California cowboys start showing up on his doorstep. What’s the deal? Is it something to do with what he cleaned up in that motel room in Carson? Or is it all about the brewing war between rival trauma cleaners? Web doesn’t have a clue, but he’ll need to get one if he’s going to keep from getting his face kicked in. Again. And again. And again.
Reluctant hitman Henry Thompson has fallen on hard times. His grip on life is disintegrating, his pistol hand shaking, his body pinned to his living room couch by painkillers–and his boss, Russian mobster David Dolokhov, isn’t happy about any of it. So Henry is surprised when he’s handed a new assignment: keep tabs on a minor league baseball star named Miguel Arenas.
Henry has no pity for the slugger and the wicked gambling problem that got him in trouble, but he can’t help liking the guy. After all, Henry used to be just like him: a natural-born ball player with a bright future. But hell, that was long ago. Before Henry did some guy a favor and ended up running for his life. Before his girlfriend and buddies got gunned down by someone on his tail. Before he agreed to buy his parents’ safety with a life of violence.
And when Miguel gets drafted by the Mets and is sent to the Brooklyn Cyclones, Henry must head back to New York, back to the place where all his problems began–and where Henry might find a real reason to keep living, a reason that may just cost him his life.