When the BP oil spill devastates the Gulf Coast, those who made a living by shrimping find themselves in dire straits. For the oddballs and lowlifes who inhabit the sleepy, working-class bayou town of Jeannette, these desperate circumstances serve as the catalyst that pushes them to enact whatever risky schemes they can dream up to reverse their fortunes. At the center of it all is Gus Lindquist, a pill-addicted, one-armed treasure hunter obsessed with finding the lost treasure of pirate Jean Lafitte.
His quest brings him into contact with a wide array of memorable characters, ranging from a couple of small-time criminal potheads prone to hysterical banter to the smooth-talking oil-company middleman out to bamboozle his own mother to some drug-smuggling psychopath twins to a young man estranged from his father since his mother died in Hurricane Katrina. As the story progresses, these characters find themselves on a collision course with each other, and as the tension and action ramp up, it becomes clear that not all of them will survive these events.