SHORT MONEY by Pete Hautman - SIGNED FIRST EDITION BOOKSee all titles by Pete Hautman
His career dead-ended, his marriage failing, and his supply of controlled substances rapidly dwindling, Joe Crow thinks his life has bottomed out - until he discovers he still has a long way to fall. When his ambulance-chasing brother-in-law does him the dubious favor of recommending him for a job as a bodyguard, Crow is sucked into a black comedy of unrequited greed and misplaced vengeance. He finds himself caught in the midst of a deadly dispute when his new employer, a fast-fingered, trophy-hunting plastic surgeon named Dr. Bellweather, runs afoul of George and Ricky Murphy, owners of Talking Lake Ranch, a canned-hunt operation. For a hefty fee, the Murphys will arrange a hunt for anything from Aardvark to Zebra - right there on their Minnesota ranch. Even George's pet is for sale: a 600-pound Bengal tiger. For no apparent reason, the Murphys have suddenly decided to eliminate Dr. Bellweather - their number one customer - permanently. The hunter becomes the hunted, and the frightened doctor turns to Crow to find out why.
With his usual stylish blundering, Crow discovers layer after layer of deception, madness, and fraud. Along the way, as he struggles to drag his estranged wife back from the brink of the New Age, he learns how to be friends with the spike-haired, leather-clad Laura Debrowski, and goes ice fishing with Sam O'Gara, his cantankerous old man, who offers his unique brand of crusty wisdom - just in time to propel Crow deeper yet into the morass of other people's problems. The odds say Crow is in over his head. But he's got nothing to lose, and that makes him the most dangerous in this deadly game of lies, deceit, and violence. By the end of Short Money's roller coaster plot, you may even learn the secret to the last unsolved mystery in Drawing Dead: How did Crow wind up owning that pink Jaguar?