The Ultimate Good Luck
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In this novel of menace and eroticism, Richard Ford updates the tradition of Conrad for the age of cocaine smuggling. The setting is Oaxaca, Mexico, where Harry Quinn has come to free his girlfriend's brother, Sonny, from Jail and, ideally, to get him away form the suavely sadistic drug dealer who suspects Sonny of having cheated him.
"His prose has a taut, cinematic quality that bathes his story with the same hot, mercilessly white light that scorches Mexico."--New York Times Book Review
turned onto the Avenue Hidalgo and idled along the perimeter of the park. The driver pointed to them for someone in the back of the truck, who suddenly peered out through the window. A two-way radio crackled inside, and the man in the window said something to the driver and the truck speeded up. “Everything’s gone so bad,” Rae said. She was squeezing her hands in her lap. “I really can’t do this.” “Yes you can,” he said. “You certainly can. Let’s get up.” He heard more pocking sounds—thick,
chair. Behind the chair several framed canvases were stacked against the wall. One he could see was of a terrace overlooking a harbor with pennants flying at the edge of the blue water. “See,” Muñoz said, and pulled away the plastic. Deats was in the chair. Muñoz folded the plastic so that Deats’ head was exposed. A purple bump spoiled the middle of Deats’ smooth forehead. His eyes were half-open, and his arms had been tied back with cloth, and blood had come out his nose and run into his mouth.
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Quinn showed up a month ago, he looked like he could still do it, though he didn’t look that good anymore. He had gone to J.C. and quit to play pro, then gotten waived and wound up playing in Sweden for two hundred dollars a game. He had come back in a year with a Benzedrine problem and a Swedish wife and begun playing I. leagues in L.A. and got into the business of delivering animal tranquilizers to the dog tracks in Tijuana for fixed rates. He was just starting to move lorazepam when Quinn had
on-ramp. Sonny smiled as he sat down. “Fucking flies, man. Carry you off.” Quinn looked down at the guards. “We’re set now,” he said in a whisper. Sonny looked at Bernhardt and back as if he hadn’t heard something correctly. His eyes narrowed alertly. Quinn shoved across the paper sack with Sonny’s Allowable Personals—toothpaste, Super Plenamins, Lomotils, and a week-old copy of the Houston Chronicle. The guard who had passed Sonny in was staring at the paper sack, as if he thought it might