Cash (A Land More Kind Than Home, 2012) follows his evocative debut with another striking take on Southern literature.
Wade Chesterfield’s a failed baseball player. He claims to have been Sammy Sosa’s teammate on the Gastonia Rangers, a North Carolina minor league team. Now, Wade hangs drywall. Brady Weller used to be a Gastonia police detective, until he killed a teenage boy in a traffic accident. Now, Brady sells home security systems, offering silent penance by serving as a court guardian ad litem. That’s how Brady meets Easter and Ruby Quillby, wards of the state. They’re Wade’s children, their mother dead of an overdose. Wade, parental rights signed long ago, now wants to be a true father. Wade’s enabled by found money: a backpack of cash linked to an armored car robbery. In the rhythms and cadence of the South, Cash offers a tale about family and about the tenuous link among the right choices, living with consequences or seeking redemption. The story unfolds in three voices: 12-year-old Easter, echoing from naïve to wise, hopeful to fearful, believing and doubting; Brady, weary, bitter, intent on finding justice where he can; and finally, Robert Pruitt, former baseball player, now an ex-con driven by 'roid-rage and mindless hatred for Wade, who long ago hit him with a beanball and maimed him. Wade persuades his daughters to flee their foster home. In dread of being sent to Alaska to grandparents she’s never met, Easter agrees, since "leaving with him seemed like the best answer." Despite admonitions from his former partner and threats from the FBI, Brady's intent on finding the girls. Then he learns Pruitt’s being paid by Tommy Broughton, a small-time hood who engineered the armored car heist, to find Wade and the stolen money, and Brady’s pursuit grows more urgent, realizing Pruitt will kill the girls to get to Wade.
A story of family, blood loyalty and making choices that can seem right but end up wrong.