BIG MARIA by Johnny Shaw

From Jennifer Jordan in the latest Crimespree issue 48

My latest read is Johnny Shaw’s BIG MARIA, a funny, strange and fast ride that would be well suited to a carnival ground. My love of this book began at Part One: Losers. Our losers are drunken, gimped out Harry “Shit Burger” Schmittberger, cantankerous, bored senior citizen Frank Pacheco and seemingly cursed bus driver Ricky McBride. All are at the end of their respective ropes and the promise of gold in them there hills sparks a hope they haven’t felt in years.

Big Maria is the long lost gold mine of legend. The search for it could change or end their lives – one or the other better than another day on this planet. It would help if they had a map. It would help if the map weren’t on the bottom of a lake. It would help if the mine weren’t on federal land being used for bomb testing. And it would help if even one of them had an ounce of sense. I loved these three quixotic assholes and was actually sad when this book came to a crazy, beautiful end.