Okay, maybe the blurb from Stephen King helped, even though I recognize the blurb business for the BS it can tend to be. Maybe it was the Louisiana Bayou setting. I've always been irrationally fascinated by the bayou for some reason, despite never having been there (or even close to there). Or, you know, maybe I just let the "Gimme books!" brain cloud obscure my thinking mind. I swear I keep at bay
The Marauders is a fairly fast paced tale of a crowd of characters whose paths cross at the most inopportune moments. Black humor litters Cooper's story of the foibles of hapless Lindquist, as he desperately hunts the treasure that will turn his fortune around but ends up tangled in the Toup brothers' web instead. Cosgrove gets into a bar fight after burying his father that spins his life off in an unexpected direction. Wes Trench and his father part ways after a squabble over ice that is the culmination of months of quiet hostility after the death of Wes's mother, and all of the sudden Wes is thrust into nutty Lindquist's orbit that is headed straight for danger. Brady Grimes, in all his smooth talking, mildly conflicted glory ties the community together with his decidedly unwelcome visits, until even he is taken down a peg by the struggles of his old hometown.
I say that the characters are unlikeable at first glimpse, because they don't all stay that way. Sure, maybe the marijauna farming Toup brothers don't have a ton of redeeming qualities. However, by the time readers have spent a couple hundred pages in their presence, most of Cooper's other characters emerge with a few more dimensions than you might expect, and then you, like me, might realize that you're not reading just a ridiculous crime caper about a bunch of greedy fools so much as you are reading a terribly honest and, at last gasp, affecting story of a proud, stubborn, if sometimes desperate, Cajun community that gets back up again as many times as it gets knocked down. The Marauders is the last book that I would have expected to get an emotional reaction out of me as it wound down into its final pages, but let me assure you, somehow it did, and for that reason alone, you can expect The Marauders to be a book that is much more than meets the eye.
(Thanks to Crown publishing for providing me with a copy via Shelf Awareness, even though I'm a total dolt. See, it worked out in the end, right?)