When you’re all out of crazy ideas, it’s time to try the stupid ones.
***STARRED REVIEW*** – Booklist
“I loved every page of Big Maria. You don’t often read a gutbustingly funny book that manages to maintain its fundamental seriousness and bad-ass sense of plot. This proves what many of us suspected after Dove Season, that Johnny Shaw is one of the majors already.” – Scott Phillips (author of The Ice Harvest & The Adjustment)
BIG MARIA: a novel
Published by Thomas & Mercer in September, 2012
There’s gold in them thar hills—or more precisely, in Arizona’s Chocolate Mountains, where one hundred years ago a miner stashed a king’s ransom of the stuff. But times have changed. The world has changed. And now the Chocolate Mountains are the home of the largest military artillery range in the world.
Harry’s living on disability and getting liquored up and beaten down. Frank’s a feisty old-timer battling cancer and a domineering daughter. And Ricky’s a good kid in a bad spot, doing everything for family. Together they’re staking what little they have left on a dangerous quest to the Big Maria Mine—and the gold that can offer them a new beginning.
Unfortunately a meth-dealing biker wants a piece, a trigger-happy AWOL soldier wants to play chicken in a live minefield, two stubborn burros want to go home, a starving mountain lion wants his dinner, and the US Army wants to rain on our heroes’ parade with real bombs.
And be sure to read Johnny’s debut: DOVE SEASON
“This is a great read, and you deserve the chance to read it, too.”
- Tana French (New York Times Bestselling author of The Likeness & In The Woods)
Twelve years have passed since Jimmy Veeder set foot in the Imperial Valley of southern California. The only person that could bring him back is his father, Jack, who is dying of cancer. Jimmy is prepared to spend Jack’s final days joking and reminiscing, but the old man has other plans.
He needs Jimmy to cross the border into Mexico and find a prostitute named Yolanda. It’s a strange final request to be sure, but Jimmy’s not one to argue with a dying man. With his childhood buddy Bobby Maves in tow, he heads south, looking for Yolanda among the seedy bars and neighborhoods along the Calexico/Mexicali border.
But just when Jimmy thinks his quest has ended, he is sucked in further into the violence and danger of Mexicali. In his fight for survival and search for truth, what he uncovers calls into question everything he thought he knew about his father—and will determine just what kind of man he himself truly is.
The book is set down where I grew up on the Calexico/Mexicali border in the Imperial Valley desert of southern California.
DOVE SEASON is the winner of the Stan Johnson Outstanding Debut Mystery award and was nominated for a Spinetingler Award. Read what other authors have said about DOVE SEASON here.
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