You know that saying, a friend will help you move; a true friend will help you move a body? Yeah, well, if you pick the wrong friend you could actually end up with more bodies, and in deeper trouble. That’s what loser drug runner Paul finds out when one of the shipments he was responsible for goes missing and he turns to friend and fellow drug runner, Jimmy, for help.
You see, where Paul’s mostly a lovable fuckup, Jimmy’s a bit closer to the scary-ass psycho end of the personality spectrum. So when Paul asks for help locating the missing shipment of pot–70 pounds worth that just happened to have 5 kilos of coke piggybacked with it–Jimmy kicks into serious take no prisoners mode…which is highly unfortunate for the two college girls Paul sent on the road with the shipment three days prior.
And with that one chapter setup, Piggyback slams things into high gear as Jimmy and Paul hit the highway for a road trip from hell of a novella. Working with ruthless efficiency, Jimmy decides to go back to square one and retrace the steps the shipment, and the girls, should have taken.
Along the way there are encounters with fellow drug runners, the girls’ wannabe tough-guy boyfriends, some hillbilly tweakers, and a set of parents who are never going to win Mom & Pop of the Year. And all of it unfolds with the darkest of humor and a realism so gritty you can taste it.
Author Tom Pitts makes no effort to sugarcoat any of the characters in Piggyback, and while they’re not entirely without redeeming characteristics, he certainly makes no apologies for their respective greed, stupidity, lack of morality, and senses of self-entitlement run wild. And by refusing to do so, he’s created an engaging cast of characters whose actions–unlike in many movies and novels–you can completely believe. They are simply people living in the moment, making choices that don’t always turn out well. There are no life-altering revelations or redemptions, and at the end of the day people don’t always get what they deserve…for better or worse.
In staying true to that real life vibe, the ending is a bit unexpected, a little shocking, and definitely leaves you wanting more. Life rarely goes as planned, and neither do things for the cast of Piggyback. Like life, however, Piggyback’s definitely a hell of a ride.
Piggyback is available from Snubnose Press (ISBN: 978-1480100626).