“If a literary prize existed for depicting the most offensive club lavatories, this novel would win it hands down.”
— Publishers Weekly
“If you like your crime hard and fast, Kalteis is for you.”
— The Globe and Mail
Zero Avenue is set to the cranking beat and amphetamine buzz of Vancouver’s early punk scene.
The story follows Frankie Del Rey, a talented and rising punk star who runs just enough dope on the side to pay the bills and keep her band, Waves of Nausea, together. The trouble is she’s running it for Marty Sayles, a powerful drug dealer who controls the Eastside with a fist.
When Frankie strikes up a relationship with Johnny Falco, the owner of one of the only Vancouver clubs willing to give punk a chance, she finds out he’s having his own money problems just keeping Falco’s Nest open. Desperate to keep his club, Johnny raids one of the pot fields Marty Sayles has growing out past Surrey, along Zero Avenue on the U.S. border. He gets away with a pickup load and pays back everybody he owes. Arnie Binz, bass player for Waves of Nausea, finds out about it and decides that was easy enough and goes to rip off the same field. But he gets caught by Marty’s crew.
Johnny and Frankie set out to find the missing Arnie, but Marty Sayles is pissed and looking for who ripped him off the first time — a trail that leads to Johnny and Frankie.
Latest Reviews: The Ottawa Review of Books — “Short book. Tall story. Active, masterful writing.”
The Rap Sheet — “If you love noir, you’ll love Zero Avenue. Simply as good as it gets.”
Lancashire Post — “Kalteis is rapidly becoming one of Canada’s top modern crime writers.”
Col’s Criminal Library — “I don’t think there was a dull sentence or paragraph in the book, pedal to metal, a flat-out adrenaline fuelled read.”
Toronto Star — “Kalteis tells the story in prose that’s fast, funny, profane and a pleasure to read.”
Also from ECW Press
The Gritty Gastown Collection:
Ride the Lightning, The Deadbeat Club, and Triggerfish
Three novels of west coast crime in a special ebook collection. Get yours here.
Ride the Lightning: Bounty hunter Karl Morgen goes after Miro Knotts on a skipped bond, finding the dope dealer wrapped around an underaged girl at a rave in Seattle. Dragging Miro in the hard way gets Karl’s license revoked, while Miro gets off with a suspended sentence. Finished in Seattle, Karl finds work as a process server in Vancouver. To Karl, it’s the kind of place where people settle things with middle fingers instead of guns, the kind of place a guy could get used to. After Miro ducks a drug sweep by escaping north of the border, he comes after Karl, blaming him for the mess his life has turned into. What follows is a ride through Vancouver’s underbelly featuring gangsters and cops and a final confrontation between Karl and Miro that only one will walk away from.
Triggerfish: A novel that Publishers Weekly called a “high-octane tale [that] will suit hardcore crime fans,” Kalteis’s second outing follows Rene Beckman, a dishonoured ex-cop with only two things on his mind: his new boat, the Triggerfish, and his hot date, an environmentalist named Vicki. When the two unknowingly dock the boat in the same secluded cove as a Mexican cartel’s drug submarine, the date ends with a bang. With the cartel’s deal torched by Beckman, he’s forced to go on the run with half the underworld chasing him through the streets of Vancouver and the waters surrounding it.
The Deadbeat Club: “Kalteis skillfully writes authentic-sounding dialogue. [He] makes it difficult not to root for the little guys up against ruthless gangs in this fast-paced thrill ride.” — Publishers Weekly. Grey Stevens took over the family business after his uncle passed away, and now he grows the best pot in Whistler. Everybody wants to get their hands on it, including the two rival gangs coming to town. When Grey rescues a girl from a beating at the hands of one of the gang members, he finds himself in the middle of a turf war and a new relationship at the same time. Grey has to decide whether he’s going to play it safe — take off with the girl and start over someplace new — or stay and fight for what is his.