"A little Elmore Leonard, a little Charles Portis, and very much its own uniquely American self. . .Tom Cooper has written one hell of a novel." –Stephen King
When the BP oil spill devastates the Louisiana Gulf Coast, the citizens of the bayou town of Jeanette scramble to replace their lost livelihoods. Among them is one-armed, pill-popping shrimper Gus Lindquist, who has nothing left but the dying glimmer of a boyhood dream: finding the lost treasure of pirate Jean Lafitte. With his metal detector and Pez dispenser full of Oxycontin, Lindquist steers his rickety shrimp boat into the savage Louisiana swamps.
Along his journey, Gus meets a motley crew of characters: Wes Trench, a young Cajun man estranged from his father since his mother died in Katrina; Reginald and Victor Toup, sociopathic twin brothers and drug lords; Cosgrove and Hanson, petty criminals searching for a secret that could make them rich, or kill them; and Brady Grimes, a BP middleman out to make his career by swindling the townsfolk of Jeanette, among them his own mother.
Funny, dark, and compelling, The Marauders throws these characters on a rollicking collision course that all of them might not survive.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Like a scent that clings to your skin, it’s impossible to shake the feeling of Tom Cooper’s superb crime story, which is steeped in the swampy grit of the Louisiana bayou. Against the distant gloom of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, opiate-addled shrimp boatman Gus Lindquist undertakes a quixotic search for lost treasure, tangling with a memorable cast of petty crooks, drug runners, and corporate con men along the way. Lindquist’s pill habit gives the story a soft-focus surrealism, but there’s nothing fuzzy about Cooper's prose. The Marauders is Elmore Leonard meets Mark Twain: wickedly smart, deviously funny, and warmly humane.
Cooper conjures all the complexities of post-Katrina, post Deepwater Horizon bayou life in his first novel, a noirish crime story with a sense of humor set on the Louisiana Gulf Coast. Each of the memorable main characters is introduced by a short chapter bearing his or, in the case of the sinister marijuana-growing Toup Brothers, their name. The shifting perspective keeps things moving along as we move deeper into the muck. Wes Trench ponders whether there's a future in shrimping when the hauls are getting smaller and smaller, and Bayou men like his father are broken down by the time they reach 40. There's Lindquist, a one-armed shrimper who's searching for the fabled treasure of pirate Jean Lafitte in the bay with his metal detector, and whom nobody takes seriously. Then there's Cosgrove and Hanson, a couple of small-time cons, and Grimes, a BP lawyer poking around the Barataria region, asking the old-timers to sign away their claims. Add in some alligators, body parts, and hidden treasure, and this m lange begins to thicken into a roiling gumbo. Cooper's novel is a blast; descriptions of the natural beauty of the cypress swamps and waterways, along with the hardscrabble ways of its singular inhabitants, further elevate this story.
Very vivid description of bayou and it's way of life. Felt like I was there. Plot was uneven but held me. Failed in the end.
I just finished this novel for the second time and I highly recommend it for it is a great story. Great character development, plot, relevance and descriptions of the Louisiana swamp landscape.