In his twenties and thirties, Ben never thought about money--more or less what you'd expect from a scholar whose specialty was the transcendentalists. But now, in his forties, trying to raise two children on a thirty-thousand-dollar-a-year salary, it's all he thinks about.
Money is a problem for Ben Lindberg. As a college professor, he's fought long and hard to keep his intellectual life--and his family life--safe and secure. But he can't afford to replace his broken-down car, can't even afford to fix it, can't even afford to move his family into a better part of Austin.
Then, one night, things change. Searching for the stray family cat, Ben finds in the basement of an abandoned feed store eight coolers filled with fifty-dollar bills. A windfall.
He knew he should leave, but he couldn't. It was the most extraordinary moment of his life and he wanted to savor it.
Ben takes the money, hides it and doesn't tell his wife. For a time, their lives improve. They move into a wonderful new house and buy a second car. Ben becomes a hero to his family. But when someone comes looking for the coolers, Ben discovers that everything comes at a cost--in this case, a cost beyond anything he could have imagined.
Windfall is the story of an ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances. Tautly plotted, intelligently written, and shot through with searing psychological insight, it is a novel of paranoia and betrayal, secrets and shattered ideals--a relentlessly suspenseful thriller.
From the Hardcover edition.