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The Good Know Nothing
by Ken Kuhlken
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During the summer of 1936, destitute farmers from the Dust Bowl swarm into California, and an old friend brings police detective Tom Hickey a manuscript, a clue to the mystery of his father Charlie's long-ago disappearance. Tom chooses to risk losing his job and family to follow this lead. Even his oldest friend and mentor, retired cop Leo Weiss, opposes Tom's decision. Why so passionately? Tom lures the novelist B. Traven to a meeting on Catalina and accuses him of manuscript-theft and homicide. Traven replies that the Sundance Kid, having escaped from his reputed death in Bolivia, killed Charlie. Tom crosses the desert to Tucson, tracking the person or ghost of the legendary outlaw, and meets a young Dust Bowl refugee intent on avenging the enslavement of his sister by an L.A. cop on temporary border duty in Yuma. Tom frees the sister, delivers the boy's revenge, and becomes a fugitive, wanted for felony assault by the L.A.P.D., his now former employer. What he learns in Tucson sends Tom up against powerful newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst. He hopes to enlist Leo, but instead Leo offers evidence that Tom's father was a criminal. For Tom and his sister, both victims of Charlie's wife, their crazy mother, what now?