Galveston: A Novel
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From the creator, writer, and executive producer of the HBO crime series True Detective, comes a dark and visceral literary debut set along the seedy wastelands of Galveston.
On the same day that Roy Cady is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he senses that his boss, a dangerous loan-sharking bar-owner, wants him dead. Known “without affection” to members of the boss’s crew as “Big Country” on account of his long hair, beard, and cowboy boots, Roy is alert to the possibility that a routine assignment could be a deathtrap. Which it is. Yet what the would-be killers do to Roy Cady is not the same as what he does to them, which is to say that after a smoking spasm of violence, they are mostly dead and he is mostly alive.
Before Roy makes his getaway, he realizes there are two women in the apartment, one of them still breathing, and he sees something in her frightened, defiant eyes that causes a fateful decision. He takes her with him as he goes on the run from New Orleans to Galveston, Texas—an action as ill-advised as it is inescapable. The girl’s name is Rocky, and she is too young, too tough, too sexy—and far too much trouble. Roy, Rocky, and her sister hide in the battered seascape of Galveston’s country-western bars and fleabag hotels, a world of treacherous drifters, pickup trucks, and ashed-out hopes. Any chance that they will find safety there is soon lost. Rocky is a girl with quite a story to tell, one that will pursue and damage Roy for a very long time to come.
Recalling the moody violence of the early novels of Cormac McCarthy and Denis Johnson, this powerful, potent, and atmospheric thriller is impossible to put down. Constructed with maximum tension and haunting aftereffect, written in darkly beautiful prose, Galveston announces the arrival of a major new literary talent.
surface in greased arcs. Sage drops her toy at my feet and shakes water off again. The dog has a curious, flirtatious spirit, a red-and-white Australian shepherd, slim, with pale green eyes and a flopping tongue. We stand there a minute because I hope to see the dolphins again, but I don’t. Bramble and thistle crust the dunes, and a barge crawls out the fog toward the shipping canals, slides across my good eye. I wonder why Cecil referred to the guy as a “hard-ass.” I wonder what questions,
She took only a couple bites of her cheeseburger. Tiffany ate her fries in a dainty manner, and Rocky looked between her sister and the teenagers, and it seemed like she didn’t want to watch them but couldn’t help it. She moved her food around, glanced at the kids, then dragged patterns in her ketchup with a soggy fry. I washed down two burgers with a Budweiser, reclined a little, and inhaled the hot, salty air, stowed it in my lungs. “What do you think?” I asked her. “Huh?” She dropped her
wore thick crucifixes around their necks. Lance had been grilling some burgers and I’d brought a six-pack of Coors outside. The girls came, too, and after watching Tiffany from the window of room 12, the two sisters ventured out to meet her. They bent at their waists to shake hands with Tiffany, who bit her thumb kind of demurely. They had gentle, amused faces, carried hunched backs with the dignity of quiet burdens. The one named Dehra wore glasses and tended to speak out more. You look less
out one truck and got into another right next to it. The girl in my room made a contrite, apologetic face while I stood at the window. She was on the bed and I could see her in the glass. “What’s wrong, mister? Tell me what to do. You tell me what you want.” Her pale face and ink black hair floated in the glass. I was naked beside the curtains and watching the parking lot. I sipped JW. When I didn’t answer her, she said, “You’re just drunk, baby.” I hadn’t planned on meeting her, but the
I grabbed her by the chin, hard, and tilted her face up. Her nostrils flared and her gaze, paralyzed, had a rabid fervor to it that looked to me like actual madness, barely constrained. “That woman around the way? Pick up your head. Look at me. That woman around the way. She’s about to call the cops on you. About to call social services on Tiffany. Going to tell them a whore abandoned her daughter here. You know where that leaves Tiffany? You know what foster care’s like? Are you listening?