"The Marauders", by Tom Cooper

The Marauders: A Novel - Tom Cooper
This stunning debut novel is a noirish crime mystery written with a touch of humour. The tale brings us deep into the murky water of the Louisiana bayous. The story is post Katrina and soon after the BP spill that devastated the livelihood of the citizens of Jeannette, a little town where shrimping is in the blood.

We are introduced in short chapters to a cast of lively as much as eccentric characters. Each chapter bears the characters names and shifts perspectives as the story keeps its journey into waters infested with alligators, reptiles and creepy creatures. This is quite a mélange that meshes beautifully together. This gumbo’s main players are Wes Trench, a young man who wonders if there is any future in shrimping; Lindquist, a one-armed man who spends days with his metal detector and a Pez dispenser full of Oxycontin searching for pirate Jean Lafitte’s fabled treasure; the Toup brothers two sociopathic twins and drug lords; Cosgrove and Hanson petty criminals searching for the pot of gold and finally the inevitable slick talking BP representative swindling people of Barataria region by asking them to sign away their claims. All these funny, miscreants, romantics and scary people are thrown into compelling odysseys filled with rocking action and intense suspense till they come together in a shocking conclusion we can’t imagine. This is definitely a character driven book I enjoyed immensely.

This brilliantly written story is also a real blast filled with rich descriptions of the cypress swamps and waterways and this all said with an enthralling voice of the south and a dash of Cajun to spice our enjoyment ….well done, very good book.

“Laissez les bons temps rouler”