When some good old boys hijack bootleg booze, more than the truck backfires.
In 1923, a lot of illicit stuff from Canada is pouring into North Dakota for dissemination. As a result, racketeers like Guido Salvatore and Alphonse Capone are getting rich. Regular fellows like Andy Larson and his pals are not. One night, after boozing around a bonfire, they decide to reapportion the wealth. On the face of it, their plan is plausible. After all, who could’ve predicted that the truck would be carrying all those extra guards, and that they’d be carrying all that extra firepower? In the resulting firefight, the guards are killed. The reason for all those security enhancements becomes clear in the process of unloading the hijacked truck. Beneath the camouflaging hay is not just booze but gold: five bags full, about $60,000 worth of newly minted $20 coins. The prior claim of big-time thieves to the loot gives the smalltime thieves pause. But Andy, a tough, resourceful, seasoned vet of the Great War, is no ordinary good old boy. Put a Tommy gun in his hand, and he could well be a match for every Guido and Alphonse in the phone book.
Strong plotting transcends clunky prose in an entertaining debut.