Author: Katrina Carrasco
Washington Territory, 1888. With contacts on the docks and in the railroad, and with a buyers’ market funneling product their way, Alma Rosales and her opium-smuggling crew are making a fortune. They spend their days moving product and their nights at the Monte Carlo, the center of Tacoma’s queer scene, where skirts and trousers don’t signify and everyone’s free to suit themselves.
Then two local men end up dead, with all signs pointing to the opium trade, and a botched effort to disappear the bodies draws lawmen to town. Alma scrambles to keep them away from her operation but is distracted by the surprise appearance of Bess Spencer—an ex-Pinkerton's agent and Alma’s first love—after years of silence. A handsome young stranger comes to town, too, and falls into an affair with one of Alma's crewmen. When he starts asking questions about opium, Alma begins to suspect she’s welcomed a spy into her inner circle, and is forced to consider how far she’ll go to protect her trade.
Katrina Carrasco plunges readers into the vivid, rough-and-tumble world of the late-1800s Pacific Northwest in this genre- and gender-blurring novel. Rough Trade follows Carrasco’s critically acclaimed debut The Best Bad Things and reimagines queer communities, the turbulent early days of modern media and medicine, and the pleasures—and price—of satisfying desire.