Rush was a sand diver until his son died and he sank into a booze-soaked depression. When a stranger wanders into the bar where he works, Rush has a difficult choice to make...
Timothy Ward has been one of my Goodreads friends for a while now. When he mentioned needing a few more reviews of Scavenger before he put out another book, I said I'd give it a shot.
Scavenger takes place in the world of Hugh Howley's Sand but I was able to follow the story without reading it. America covered with Sand, there are sand divers looking for the lost city of Danvar, etc.
The plot is the classic "I have your wife so you have to do this for me" scenario. Ward puts a nice spin on it by putting it in Howley's setting. The character of Rush was by far the most interesting part of the tale. His insurmountable grief for his son and descent into alcoholism were completely believable.
Honestly, Ward didn't need the Sand setting for this. He could have easily tweaked it into a serviceable western or crime short story. However, the setting added some grittiness (get it?) to the tale. There were some claustrophobic moments near the end that reminded me of events in Howley's Wool.
About the only thing I had to complain about was that I wanted more. 3.5 out of 5 stars.