(Note: Michael McCulloch is a pen name used by Keir Graff.)
It's winter, 1987, in Garden City, Montana, a sleepy college town with more bars than churches.
Eighteen years ago, Gil Strickland was named Teacher of the Year. But those days are long gone for the once-idealistic instructor at Porte l'Enfer High—right now, it's all he can do to get to class sober and turn his lesson plans in on time. His job in jeopardy, he's dogged at every step by a vice principal who works his job with evangelical zeal.
It's a new day in America—but old contracts must still be paid
Jack McEnroe is a construction worker with an unusual job: building a prison for terrorists. Like his neighbors in Red Rock, Wyoming, Jack isn't particularly concerned about politics. In a depressed rural economy, he's just grateful to have a job.
Jack's boss, Dave Fetters, is grateful, too: he has a no-bid, cost-plus contract issued by the previous administration. It's his last chance to get rich, and he's making the most of it.