cover image The Deadbeat Club

The Deadbeat Club

Dietrich Kalteis. ECW Press (PGW/Legato, U.S. dist.; Jaguar Book Group, Canadian dist.), $14.95 trade paper (312p) ISBN 978-1-77041-152-4

The alpine town of Whistler, B.C., is famous for its skiing, but British Columbia is also renowned for another kind of dangerous activity: the pot trade. Kalteis (Ride the Lightning) drops readers into the beginnings of a drug war. Four young members of the Indo Army are on their way to take out one of Bumpy Rosco's meth labs when they're killed on a Vancouver street. Up in Whistler, Grey Stevens's life is removed from that world. He inherited his uncle's business, growing high-grade pot, but his dream of the easy life%E2%80%94snowboarding in the winter, biking in the summer, and retiring by his mid-30s%E2%80%94is interrupted by threats from Rosco's gang, who want to control the trade in Whistler. When his friends start getting hurt, Grey has to decide whether to stand down or to fight back and accept the consequences. Kalteis skillfully writes authentic-sounding dialogue. Grey and his love interest, Dara, are likable characters, and Kalteis makes it difficult not to root for the little guys up against ruthless gangs in this fast-paced thrill ride. (Oct.)