"Across the miles into Iowa, Wayne heard the litany of wrongs done to Denny by his wife, Iris. She had cheated on him, abused him mentally and physically, borne children by other men, cuckolded him — he actually used the word cuckolded — stolen from him, made a fool of him, blackmailed him, spied on him, called the police on him, set his motorcycle on fire. Denny hadn’t done anything to deserve this, and he admitted that he loved her once, and even started to cry again as he described their first dates together, back in high school — going to the movies, playing miniature golf, and necking down by the lake. 'I've been around some rough characters and I know a few who seem crazy enou—' He stopped. 'I know a handful who probably have what it takes to do it. But it seems like every time you turn on the TV there’s some stupid moron tried to hire somebody like that and the person they thought would do the job calls the police and wears a wire, and it just seems like a good way to get caught.’”
But even as the pulp froths about, with bad decisions and weird conspiracies and coincidences abounding, there are bits like this — where a trucker’s hijacked by a self-evidently desperate man — and over the course of a long ride tries to see what the situation can do for him. Guilfoile’s playing in Dan Brown’s yard, sure, but the small touches make you wish he’d explore a better neighborhood.