...and the title above is pretty much all I remember about it. I assume it's a cyberpunk novel or short story, because I read a lot of Sterling and Gibson and the idea of something hidden around cargo ships and docks never reaching its destination looks like something one of them would write. I don't remember what was inside that container nor if the book ever told that, I just remember it was a way of hiding something.


I'm going to suggest William Gibson's Spook Country (2nd book in the "Blue Ant" series, preceded by Pattern Recognition), in which the prize pursued throughout the book is a mysterious shipping container and its contents.

“Don’t know. The tasks of Bobby Chombo, though: One, as I’ve told you, consists of listening for the Flying Dutchman of shipping containers. When he took this job, he was given a set of parameters of some kind, and this task of fishing one particular signal out of a great many others. He did it. Does it still. The container sends a signal periodically, announcing its location, and probably that it hasn’t been tampered with. It’s an intermittent signal, encrypted, and it shifts frequencies, but if you’re Bobby, evidently, you’ll know when and where to listen for it.”

The reveal of the climax:

The container is full of money stolen or embezzled from the Gulf War, and is ultimately taken out by the protagonists by shooting it with radioactive bullets that make it literally dirty money.

I actually have a nice quote of the scene in question, but the SE is refusing to let me put it into spoilers.


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