Head Games is equal parts road novel, caper and historical fiction: a black comedy and wistful ballad of lost America rooted in borderland myth and history.
Head Games’ narrator is Hector Lassiter, now widowed and feeling his age. When Lassiter recovers Mexican General Pancho Villa’s skull stolen from his grave by an American soldier-of-fortune, within hours of taking possession of it, Lassiter becomes a target of competing fraternities, Mexican bandits and U.S. intelligence services.
The breakneck chase extends across 1957-1970 America — from the cantinas of old Mexico to the Venice, California set of Orson Welles’ noir classic Touch of Evil, to the sanctum sanctorum of Yale’s infamous Skull and Bones Society. The cast of characters includes Orson Welles, Marlene Dietrich, Jack Webb and a young gone-missing National Guardsman named “George W.”