Young Lee Brickey is the kind of son that any mother would hope for…almost. He is bright, easy going, an apt student, a hard worker, and a thief. Actually, he is more of an opportunist than a thief Things just land in his lap, and he keeps them. Working after school and on weekends at his father’s garage and towing service, he has more than ample opportunity for things to drop into his lap. As a high school senior in a small Missouri town and with a father who remembers what it was like to be young, Lee has been given the kind of freedom unheard of in the early 1960s; the kind of freedom that most of his peers can only dream of.
The worst that could ever happen, he thought, would be getting caught in the back seat with a six-pack and the daughter of the man holding the flashlight. He quickly learns that the world outside of Doubling, Missouri can be a cruel and deadly place when four pounds of heroin are dropped into his lap at the scene of a fatal accident. Realizing that he is over his head, he turns the merchandise over to the local law. The size and circumstance of the find attracts the attention of state and federal agencies, which set up a foolproof sting operation using Lee as bait.
When he starts classes at a nearby state college, Lee realizes that he can no longer slam through life with abandon because a commitment to his father has to be honored. The class work is harder and more complex than high school, and so are the girls, but both are much more interesting and exciting. As Lee fumbles and stumbles his way into maturity, he also goes from frying pans into fires at an ever-increasing rate.