Harold Miles' picaresque new novel, Bad Ol' Boy, records the fantastic saga of Will Cotton's many outlandish adventures-how Will gambles, connives, plunders, philanders, drinks, embezzles, and murders...how everywhere he creates spectacularly varied carnage as he pursues his wily and bizarre life of crime...how he's always matching wits with, and keeping just barely a step ahead of, the clever and relentless Pinkerton detectives.
When you first encounter the raffish Will, he's burnt out, dying, and terrified of the Southern Baptist hellfire and torment all the spectacular misdeeds of his wicked life have so richly earned him. Will believes that full confession alone can bring about his salvation, and only his young nephew, Gene, the sole relative not eagerly hoping to see Will die, is willing to hear the old reprobate out.
Will's tales carry you roaring away on a wild journey of crime, escapades grittily traversing much of the early 20th century South and mid-America. It's an uproarious but murderous spree and manhunt-often careening along on a grand Harley-Davidson-that ranges from rural Georgia to Lexington, from Chicago to St. Louis, from Baton Rouge to Dallas, from Corpus Christi to El Paso, from Brownsville to New Orleans to Atlanta.
Along the way you'll meet such remarkable characters as:
Ý Gene's hardbitten harridan-tongued Ma, who fears he's headed down the same rough road as Uncle Will
Ý Preacher Nelson, the wealthiest man in Plowshare, Kentucky, whose bank Will plunders
Ý Josie Nelson, the preacher's daughter, a poet whose beauty, it was said, would make a freight train take a dirt road, and whom Will promises to marry, but instead cruelly destroys
ÝG. B. Balls, the great Pinkerton detective, who brilliantly tracks Will down, but ultimately loses their murderous game
Ý Kathy Taylor, Will's second wife and innocent companion in flight, increasingly horrified by her realization of the depth of his unbridled criminality
Ý Ol' Ebo, the inner devil Will's so long embraced, now wrestling for his immortal soul
Ý Fanny Hawk-either a fancy lady or carnival whore, depending on who's speaking of her-Will's great love, clever counterpart, and most important wife
Bad Ol' Boy will take you along on a wanton, hilarious romp with an original American rapscallion and general scapegrace. Will Cotton is droll and lethal, murderous and penitent, archetypal but all-too-real-you won't forget him soon!