Nick Ray lives in a world where everything is for sale. University Ph.D.s, pig fetuses, bomb shelters, and vending-machine-dispensed live bait, to name just a few. But for the first time in a long time, Nick Ray finally has something to sell.
Determined to be covert about an affair he's having with a woman already spoken for (by another woman), Nick buys the cheapest computer he can find at a pawn shop, only to discover that it contains a list of the names and addresses of dozens of members of the Witness Protection Program.
Partnering with a huge Russian gangster with the world's worst fashion sense and a disbarred lawyer who drinks rocket fuel, Nick decides to take advantage. Despite the impressive credentials of this dream team Nick's put together, he soon learns that having something to sell can end up making you a valuable commodity for someone else looking to make a big score.
Nick Ray, the divorced, alcoholic narrator of screenwriter/rocker Roberge's zany, intermittently amusing suspense novel, works the nightshift at the historic Lincoln Hotel, a sewagechallenged Long Beach, California, commercial property that survived the 1933 earthquake. "No one with anyone they could count on ended up here," Nick explains, "there were no mom or dads knocking on the doors of the Lincoln." Aching to get out of the place, Nick is thrilled when he buys a fossilized computer and discovers that it's loaded with the current locations of whistleblowers who were hidden by the government's witnessprotection programpriceless information to thugs looking for revenge and a payoff for Nick to start a new life with his kinky, bisexual lover Tara. With the help of a flashy, goldtoothed Russian criminal and a lawyerturnedrecovering junkie, Nick testblackmails relocated Frank Carr with surprising success. But greed soon intervenes and the troika gets in over their heads with dangerous felon and Titanic fanatic Harry Fudge, an aging crook Cole's firm once rescued from a hefty jail sentence. Though the narrative eventually downshifts into an easy, uninspired resolution, this drughazed Christmastime romp will please many readers with its dark humor and quick plot twists.