Pete Hautman, the acclaimed author of Drawing Dead and Short Money, returns with his funniest, fastest, most irresistible thriller yet with the story of seventy-three-year-old Axel Speeter and his final winner-takes-all gamble with a pair of crooks after his life savings.
With his cross-country poker-playing days closing, Axel Speeter has his affairs in order and is ready to settle down. He owns a taco concession at the Minnesota State Fair, and keeps his sometimes lover, Sophie Roman, and her spectacularly endowed daughter, Carmen, on the payroll. He’s made a nice home for himself at the Motel 6 six, where he holds his stash of $260,000 in seven coffee cans scattered around the room.
But when Carmen gets a new guy in her life, a skinhead ex-convict named James Dean, the two of them decide they want a piece of Axel’s stash. They may not be the smartest couple around, but how tough can it be to take a few coffee cans away from an old guy?
Carmen and James are in for a surprise, though, as they learn Axel’s got one more hand to play—and the loser pays with his life.
Pete Hautman is the author of National Book Award–winning novel Godless, Sweetblood, Hole in the Sky, Stone Cold, The Flinkwater Factor, The Forgetting Machine, and Mr. Was, which was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America, as well as several adult novels. He lives in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Visit him at PeteHautman.com.