I'd been demoted and was shoveling slide-back and minding my own business when they found Dwayne Mays's body in a pile of gob. Shoveling slide-back is maybe the worst job in the mine. Slide-back is what they give you when they want you to quit. It's a punishment.
In the depths of the Knight Hawk, one of the last working collieries in downstate Illinois, the body of a reporter is found, his mini-recorder tied around his neck and a notepad stuffed in his mouth.
The Knight Hawk's owner, Matthew Luster, isn't happy. He wants answers—and he doesn't want the cops or any more press poking into his business. To protect himself and the operation, he turns to Slim, a mine employee with a reputation for "bloodhounding"—finding lost souls when the police can't or won't. Luster needs Slim to locate a missing photographer named Beckett, a close associate of the victim . . . and who just happens to be his son-in-law.
A hardworking single father barely making ends meet, Slim accepts the job— after Luster offers him a guaranteed pension and job security for life. But when you make a deal with the devil, you're going to get burned . . . and now Slim is all too close to the flames. Circumstances have led him into the grimy underworld of Little Egypt, Illinois—a Babel's Tower of rednecks, rubes, freaks, tweakers, gun nuts, and aging hippies—and it quickly becomes clear that he's much more involved in the murder than an innocent man should be.
Down Don't Bother Me marks the debut of a wildly assured mystery novelist.