Harry is an ex-prison guard on workman’s comp and he’s trying to nurse it as long as he can. His leg has already healed, but he keeps getting the checks. Now they want him to come in for an examination before any more government checks flow his way.
Ricky has a bus he uses to ferry groups of retired people twice a day into Mexico so they can get cheap prescriptions. The folks In Mexico pay him to give them free rides. Now an accident has happened, a big elk was in the road when he came around a curve and he flipped the bus on it’s bus trying to avoid the big beast. Six of his elderly passengers died in the accident and more were hurt. He’s badly injured himself. But the authorities want his ass and the families of the dead as well.
Frank is a Native American and living in a retirement home. He doesn’t mind being old, not a lot, but everyone wants to take care of him, keep him away from dangerous things. No one ever asks him what he wants. He was one of the passengers on Ricky’s bus and knows it wasn’t the kid’s fault.
Harry and Ricky live in the same trailer park and Harry meets Frank through him. While they are talking, drinking, smoking a joint, The old man tells them a story his grandfather used to tell him when he was young.
He was working in the Big Maria mine around the turn of the century. The Easterner who owned the mine was convinced by the man he’d hired to run it that it had played out. But the fellow continued to mine gold from The Big Maria using blacks and Native Americans. When Frank’s grandfather realized that the other workers were “disappearing,” he acted first, killing the white man and burying him in the basement of his home, along with all his papers on mine activities in a metal box tightly bound with leather.
Even knowing the story had likely been embellished over the years, there were possibilities there.
One problem though. Seventy years ago, the valley the town was in had been flooded when a dam was built. The old town was underwater and would take some effort to find, let alone locate the house and dig up the box.
All they knew about the mines were that they were in the Chocolate Mountains of Arizona, a range now part of the U. S. Army Proving Grounds, an area where, not on the U. S. Army, trained for warfare, but other countries used as well. Desert ground and mountains. Sound familiar. Artillery ranges, fake Middle Eastern towns, everything needed.
In this seriocomic tale, the three men spend months planning, get into goofy situations, dodging the wrong people, come close to committing really criminal acts, all for the ultimate aim of finding that gold mine.
They use Frank’s twin grandsons, hulking young fellows that have a marijuana farm, dodge his daughter, their mother, who all are scared of, as they move closer to their goal.
Until all that is left is creeping onto government land, slipping through artillery barrages, looking for that long lost mine.
I like the way Shaw keeps things moving briskly along, surprising me along the way a few times. The man can write.
Recommended and can be found preordered HERE.. Release date is September 25th.