Suppose you quit your job, took out a second mortgage, and borrowed every penny of your in-laws' nest egg to start up a surefire new business. What if your partner ran off with all your money? What if you caught up with him? These are the questions Pete Hautman's hero faces in Rag Man, a wryly funny, Faustian tale of a good man going bad. Mack MacWray's new clothing manufacturing company was wildly successful -- until the day his charming, street-savvy partner, Lars Larson, disappeared with all the assets, leaving Mack stuck with nothing but debts and shattered dreams. Devastated, Mack thinks he has nothing left to live for until, at the edge of a cliff on the idyllic Mexican resort of Isla Mujeres, he comes face-to-face with his former partner. Mack discovers something about himself that fateful afternoon -- that maybe he's not such a nice guy after all. After push comes to shove, Mack must live with what he has become. Mack returns to the U.S. with his moral compass demagnetized and discovers a world of opportunity. Without the ball and chain of guilt and accountability, making money is all but guaranteed. He transforms himself from bankrupt loser to hard-nosed success story -- but at what cost? His wife wants the old Mack back; her best friend wants Mack in bed; Lars's widow wants money (or revenge); and Detective Jerry Pleasant wants answers -- or maybe more. As the pace quickens and tensions rise, these characters begin to surprise even themselves. Pete Hautman treads the line between psychological darkness and laugh-out-loud funny as he asks tough questions about the nature of good and evil -- and offers some unexpected answers.
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.