The Best Bad Things.
LJ Reviews 2018 June #2
A former Pinkerton agent kicked out partly because she liked going undercover as a man, Alma Rosales now works for Delphine Beaumond, head of a West Coast smuggling ring and Alma's sometime lover. Here, Alma is after some stolen opium, warning off old Pinkerton allies as she tries to keep her stories straight. Debut mystery with bang-up promotion.Copyright 2018 Library Journal.
LJ Reviews 2018 October #2
DEBUT Carrasco's first novel explores every nook and cranny of what it is to be two-natured. Male and female, cop and criminal, marginalized and sovereign, best and bad: no matter the duality, disgraced Pinkerton detective-turned-unabashed gangster Alma Rosales (aka Jack Camp, pronouns she/her) rides the pendulum from one extreme to another. She's not alone: all of the colorful characters populating the seedy docks in 1880s Port Townsend, WA, have at least two sides to their stories and multiple angles from which to view them. Their depth and the richly detailed Northwest setting are uncommonly penetrating for a debut author. The attention to historical detail is also impressive. There are pacing issues—lots of buildup, some confusing jumps in time—but all are forgiven thanks to a wildly satisfying climax.
PW Reviews 2018 September #3
In 1887, former Pinkerton Women's Bureau agent Alma Rosales, the complex heroine of Carrasco's stellar first novel, goes looking for stolen opium in Washington Territory. In order to catch the thief and recover the drugs, she disguises herself as a female ingénue and also as her cocky, pugnacious male alter ego, dockworker Jack Camp. Alma, who hopes to impress her boss and ex-lover—Delphine Beaumond, the leader of a West Coast smuggling ring—takes passionate joy in bloody confrontation and in her lustful pursuit of both women and men. Carrasco succeeds in coupling a feminist historical that maintains period plausibility with an exploratory queer narrative rarely seen in the crime genre. Even readers uninterested in Alma's identity journey will be impressed by her intelligence and social acumen, and drawn by the constantly shifting politics and well-timed reveals of the plot. Breath-catching pacing, tantalizingly rough-and-tumble characters who are somehow both distasteful and deeply relatable, palpable erotic energy, and powerful storytelling make this a standout.