Stanford and Dodge each need redemption. Dodge wasted most of his life in a drug-induced stupor, while Stanford wasted an upscale career in business thanks to his hubris. The two men meet while working for a flower grower in a rugged coastal region of California. The unlikely colleagues suspect the area harbors a drug ring, and that breaking it up will provide a fast track back to self-respect. More
Stanford and Dodge are both looking for redemption, each having arrived at their current purgatory via extremely different paths: Stanford from the top-down, and Dodge from the bottom-up. Dodge wasted the greater part of his adult life in a drug-induced stupor, consequently neglecting the family he started when he was much younger. Stanford wasted an upscale career in business thanks to his hubris, which led to a horrific tragedy. Told from Stanford’s point of view, the story unfolds in the rugged coastal region of California stretching from Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz, where the two men are working for a flower grower, Joe Mirabelli. Only half an hour away from cemented civilization, the community’s atmosphere seems more like the edge of the world, residing on a narrow stretch of land locked in by the Pacific on one side, and the mountains separating it from the well-lighted Bay Area on the other side. It is here, working on the ranch, that the unlikely co-workers search for a way back to self-respect. Dodge has lived in the area all his life, while Stanford is an anomaly to the local residents: a visitor from “over the hill” who decided to stay. Though Stanford and Dodge do not have much to do with each other for the first several months of Stanford’s employment at Mirabelli Nurseries, they form a close bond following Stanford’s intervention in an attack on Dodge by a drug-crazed man who jogs into the ranch from Highway One. As their mutual respect grows, so do their suspicions that the event concerning the overdosed man points to a larger problem infecting the enchanted area. A series of circumstances lead them to believe that a nearby broken-down ranch is doubling as a crystal meth factory, manufacturing the drug for street distribution through the San Francisco wholesale flower market. As simple as it may be to report their suspicions to the proper authorities, the men instead latch onto the investigation as a way to prove themselves to each other, and to those whom they have let down, lost, or ruined during the course of their lives leading up to this point. However, just as their previous lives’ pursuits were marked by tragic consequences, their amateur sleuthing careens toward a conclusion even more out of control than the past events they are trying to overcome.