Think of this title as a coming-of-age novel writ noir. Turning 30 hasn’t meant much more for Jimmy Veeder than moving from one low-paying job to another. I didn’t have a dream. I just was,? is how he describes himself. Then he gets a call from his dad. Big Jack has cancer, the bad kind. He’s dying. Would Jimmy come and stay with him for a few months? So Jimmy returns to Holtville, the hick town where he grew up, deep in the Imperial Valley in Southern California, next to the Mexican border. His dad’s got one request: find him a whore he knew in Mexicali, Yolanda, and bring her to see him. Jimmy does. His father dies….. Jimmy and his old buddies soon find themselves butting heads with the Mexican underworld. But as his troubles continue, Jimmy learns something about himself. At the end, he’s on his way to growing up maybe. VERDICT This is Shaw’s first novel, and it’s a good one.