A big-hearted Nebraskan and his close friend wade through a town corrupted by meth-addicted crazies.
Prell (Ka-Ching: The Repository of Universal Wisdoms, 2007), a former award-winning, nationally syndicated radio journalist, sets his murder mystery in Lincoln, Neb., a town he calls “a cesspool of crime and depravity.” The description seems apt as a deadly methamphetamine lab explosion blows “tweaker” Roy Swartz Jr.’s body into thin air. It’s a common local occurrence to Ambrose Stryker, a disfigured Iraq War veteran and corn farmer, who, together with best buddy “Stub” Stubinskie, Stryker dreams of ridding the town of this epidemic. Meanwhile, dopey speed-freak miscreants Alphonse “Big A” Beemer and Gilmore “Happy” Gilruth hatch a plan to rob a bank, but end up in jail, only to make bigger plans to transport legal meth-producing chemicals out of town. Stryker, who continues to be haunted by his harsh time in the war, becomes more annoyed than concerned about Ashed “Barry” McFarland, a shifty Iraqi taxi driver he’d met abroad and has now shows up in Polk County unannounced and desperate, “much like a virus that results in a bad cold.” McFarland gets arrested after inadvertently driving Big A and Happy around and good guy Stryker retains lusty attorney Lara Lynn Lundstrom to assist, but she’s got more than a few secrets to hide. Prell keeps the action moving and adds more shady characters to the mix, such as Reno-based drug dealer Bobette “Footsie” Kravitz and Ernst Leidke, an aging hustler servicing Lincoln’s older female demographic. The body count rises as Barry, now a key witness to the drug action, fears for his life. It’s up to Stryker and Stub to ferret out the dealers from the do-gooders and snare a few hot dates for themselves along the way. Incorporating DNA battles, lesbian drug dealers, grave-robbed bodies and explosions galore, Prell delivers humor-infused tension through an unwieldy assortment of ragtag, potty-mouthed characters. Stryker makes for a compelling protagonist; can a sequel be far behind?
A whirlwind of drugs, derelicts and diabolical melodrama.