By E.R. Brown
“This is funny and twisted in the same vein as Breaking Bad…This is Brown’s debut and it’s an auspicious one.”
–The Globe and Mail
“Tate is a fresh narrative voice, and Randle, who could have been a fairly stereotypical drug-dealing villain, has surprising depth; he’s even a weird sort of father figure for young Tate. If you took a gritty crime novel and a coming-of-age story and squashed them together, you might get something very close to this excellent book.”
Charming, wealthy Randle Kennedy has a secret: he’s British Columbia’s most prolific producer of boutique marijuana. He’s developed strains of B.C. Bud to please the most sophisticated palates and produce any desired effect, from a light contemplative buzz to the most mind-warping stone. His medical varieties offer relief for conditions ranging from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. Come legalization, he’ll be the first on the market with marijuana’s answer to single-malt Scotch. Until that day, he runs a tight operation with terrorist-cell security.
Tate MacLane is brilliant, miserable, and broke. Since graduating from high school at age 14, he’s failed at university, failed to support his family, failed at everything except making a superb caffe latte.
Randle wants a fresh face to front his transactions. Tate desperately needs a mentor and yearns for respect. And money…
Then there are the bikers, the muscle with the cross-border connections that Randle needs to bring his product to the American market. Soon Tate finds out that it’s harder to get out of the business than to get in.
“E.R.Brown hits it out of the park – great characters and storytelling evocative of Elmore Leonard.”
–Rick Mofina, author of the Reed and Sydowski series
“ALMOST CRIMINAL is a wildly fun read. The concept is original, characters are vivid and fleshed-out, and the story surprised me at each turn, with its unlikely teen hero turning conventional morals upside down. E.R. Brown is an exciting addition to the Canadian crime scene.”
-Robin Spano, author of Death Plays Poker, Death’s Last Run, and Dead Politician Society
“ALMOST CRIMINAL is an intriguing combination of crime novel and coming-of-age story. Brown’s Tate MacLane is an innocent who can bluff his way through most situations. He’s also desperate for money and eminently likeable – in other words the perfect tour guide for a journey into the secret world of BC bud.”
-Deryn Collier, author of Confined Space
Dundurn, April 2013
Nominated for a 2014 Edgar Award in the Paperback Original category
Shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel