The Best Bad Things by Katrina Carrasco

The Best Bad Things

“A brazen, brawny, sexy standout of a historical thrill ride, The Best Bad Things is full of unforgettable characters and insatiable appetites. I was riveted. Painstakingly researched and pulsing with adrenaline, Carrasco’s debut will leave you thirsty for more.” —Lyndsay Faye, author of The Gods of GothamA vivid, sexy barn burner of a historical crime novel, The Best Bad Things introduces readers to the fiery Alma Rosales—detective, sm...


Details The Best Bad Things

TitleThe Best Bad Things
ISBN9780374123697
Author
Release DateNov 6th, 2018
PublisherMCD
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Mystery, Lgbt, Glbt, Queer
Rating

Reviews The Best Bad Things

  • Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
    2018-08-10
    *Trigger Warning, book contains very explicit content and violence.*Inspired by one of the busiest seaports on the West Coast in the US, Townsend was a well-documented hot spot for smuggling in the late 1880’s. This makes it a perfect setting for a historical fiction novel with such a daring plot. Amidst the dirt of the trade, the characters are edgy, the scenes are explicit and the atmosphere reeks of dark, pungent alleys, infused with betraya...
  • Liz
    2018-10-25
    So, I’m a fan of mysteries and historical fiction. The idea of a mystery taking place in the 1880s sounded right up my alley. Add in a female protagonist and I was all set to like it. Unfortunately, it didn’t engage me the way I hoped. The writing was as dense as pea soup. Alma Rosales goes undercover as a man to find who is stealing opium from her boss, Delphine, who is also her former lover. But I really didn’t take an interest in Alma. I...
  • Michelle
    2018-11-18
    I was pleasantly surprised by Katrina Carrasco's The Best Bad Things which I picked up through NetGalley. I thought the premise behind this story was new and refreshing. Set in America's Gilded Age, The Best Bad Things illustrates how women were treated during that time, the juxtaposition of poverty with the onset of industrialization. Carrasco takes advantage of these happenings highlighting the building of the Railroad system and the opium epid...
  • CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
    2019-02-14
    What an ending!!!! One whole extra star for the ending alone. Damn!!This historical crime / thriller novel is about a cross dressing former government spy who now works for an opium smuggling ring in the 1880s. Her boss Delphine (a fellow queer woman of colour) has sent her to investigate opium that's gone missing. This plot was a bit too smart for me -- I had trouble keeping track of characters and threads. This has happened to me before with my...
  • Sarah
    2018-10-26
    I was so excited to read this one, but it really ended up being a let down for me! I couldn't finish it. I found the writing really dense and dry and I was just so bored. Apparently fighting and opium smuggling are not my thing. A lot of people clearly had a much better experience, so I'd say give it a try if the blurb sounds interesting, but this one was just not for me.*I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an hones...
  • Paul
    2018-05-09
    A vivd cast of characters, a strong decisive style, and a burning tension throughout make The Best Bad Things a book I can highly recommend. Alma Rosales is a smart, savvy character who will not be forgotten any time soon. A great debut novel.Thank you to NetGalley, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, and Katrina Carrasco for the advanced copy for review.Full review can be found here: https://paulspicks.blog/2018/05/09/th...Please check out all my review...
  • Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
    2018-10-06
    Washington Territory, 1887: Alma Rosales has been dismissed from the Pinkerton's Detective Agency for her questionable behavior and after a brief stint in California as a P.I., she's working for her former lover Delphine, the head of an opium smuggling ring.Disguised as a man named Jack Camp, Rosales infiltrates the local organization on the docks of Port Townsend to discover who has been stealing product from Delphine.  She manages to earn the ...
  • - ̗̀ DANY ̖́- (danyreads)
    2018-10-07
    . : ☾⋆ — 3 ★ READ THIS REVIEW ON MY BLOG!!!https://bit.ly/2C22f0rARC provided from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review (thank you Farrar, Straus and Giroux!!)The Best Bad Things follows Alma Rosales, a gender-fluid, half Mexican, bisexual Pinkerton agent in the late 1880s in Port Townsend, Washington. Alma, working undercover for her former-lover-turned-boss, infiltrates the local drug outpost disguised as a male ...
  • Kasa Cotugno
    2018-09-18
    A shape shifting Pinkerton operator in Port Townsend, before Washington became a state. Well written with much mystery and enough intrigue. Hopefully there will be more from this author in a series that promises originality and style.
  • Eric
    2019-02-17
    The Best Bad Things by Katrina Carrasco is a multi-layered novel based in the 1880's Pacific Northwest that details the infiltration of the opium drug smuggling business by Alma Rosales. It is not a spoiler to describe Rosales employs the disguise of different characters in her investigation, including that as portraying herself as a rough and tumble man named Jack Camp.Rosales, once worked for the Pinkerton Agency and now as both Jack Camp and A...
  • Kaijsa
    2018-08-02
    This was not for me. Alma Rosales was a completely unbelievable character, and I couldn't suspend my disbelief. I wanted to love this book and the description attracted me mostly because of Alma. She isn't like anybody I've read about before and that appealed to me--I'd love to read more with gender fluid characters of color in a different book. But beyond the almost superhuman protagonist (she can fight anybody and miraculously heal!), I wasn't ...
  • Robin Bonne
    2019-01-15
    3.5 Stars.
  • Rana
    2019-03-08
    Nope. Two major issues here: 1. The "gender fluidity" that other reviewers called out felt incredibly inauthentic, I think because there was actually very little character development at all, just this weird emphasis on sex and desire and nothing else. 2. There's a point at which the protagonist speaks in some Chinese language and I'm almost 100% sure it was completely made up. I tried a thousand different ways to get the words to make sense thro...
  • Taryn Pierson
    2019-02-18
    And the award for most apt title goes to…! This book is seriously gritty, dark, bloody, at times disturbing, and after listing those descriptors I’m not sure I can articulate why I liked it so much. Maybe because, like its main character, it doesn’t apologize for how nasty it is. Alma Rosales, sometimes known as Jack Camp, is a former Pinkerton agent who is now working her way up the ladder in a smuggling ring headed by her beautiful onetim...
  • Martha
    2018-11-21
    The highest compliment I can pay this book is to say that it completely consumed my brain while I was reading it -- everything that happened in my day made me think of it, and I spent most of my waking moments at least 15% in its world. Everything in that world is distinctive and fully formed, from the environment to the relationships and the characters, and the comfort with which Carrasco addresses the complexities of gender is impressive and re...
  • Geonn Cannon
    2018-05-15
    This book sounded like it was tailor-made for me. Female Pinkerton agent in pre-statehood Washington (Port Townsend, to be exact), AND she likes the ladies? I've never wanted Netgalley to approve me for a book than this one. It did not disappoint!While it has a strong mystery plot as the backbone, the real draw of this book is the main character (who is bisexual, as it turns out). Alma is one of the toughest protagonists I've read in a long time....
  • Jennifer
    2018-10-05
    This book started off with a bang and I remember thinking, "Oh man...this is going to be an awesome book." Sadly though, for me personally, things started to go downhill shortly thereafter and I could barely sustain enough interest to finish it. To be clear, I don't think this is necessarily a BAD book. There is some very solid writing in here. I think it just wasn't a match for me.The book does have a damn fine opening though. Lots of action and...
  • Authentikate
    2018-04-20
    3.5 Stars Alma Rosales is a new sort of heroine. She’s smart. She’s brash. She’s a snoop and a spy. She’s daring, sharp-tongued and maybe a little too full of herself. Her self-confidence is both a blessing and a curse as she sets off on high-adrenaline historical fiction suspenseful thrill ride. A former detective for the notorious Pinkerton agency, Alma, fired but unwilling to give up the hunt, begins her work for a jasmine-dripped woma...
  • Karen Kay
    2018-10-26
    I received this from netgalley.com in exchange for a review. Alma Rosales is searching for stolen opium. Shifting between a lady and her male persona Jack Camp, she lies, cheats and kills to find what she is looking for.It was an effort to get through this, having to read over the previous pages to keep track of the story. The writing was okay, but the story and its characters were a struggle to follow. 2☆
  • Abby
    2018-12-08
    I came for a great read and I got a major motion picture in my head! Reading The Best Bad Things is like being plunged into a queer historical action-adventure movie, with the character-driven nuance of prestige TV—and literary fiction. To say that this novel pulses with life is as close to literal as can be; Katrina Carrasco takes us inside the physicality of her fearless, calculating, inimitable protagonist Alma Rosales to a degree I’ve rar...
  • Megan
    2018-07-28
    Super confused by the high reviews on this book. I love to read and rarely find books I don’t at least kind of like. This is one of the books I really don’t like. Overall the story could have been great when you look at the bones of it, hence my two star rating. But ultimately this particular telling was a bomb for me. And what is it with the sexual violence? I don’t feel it added to the story at all. Don’t waste your time on this one.
  • Patty
    2018-12-22
    A novel set in 1887 in Port Townsend, Washington, starring Alma Rosales: ex-Pinkerton detective, current opium smuggler. Alma is newly arrived in Port Townsend, and is there on a mission. Part One: figure out who is the head of the opium game in town. Part Two: take his place. As you might imagine, this turns out to be far more complicated than she originally planned, and the plot turns on blackmail, murder, torture, bribes, backstabbing, moles, ...
  • Aj Smith
    2018-12-27
    This was one of final books I read in 2018, (well I listened to the audiobook, although I have also bought the book and will be reading it the traditional way very soon) but even before I finished it, The Best Bad Things shot rapidly to the joint top of my books of the year list. Everything about this book seriously excellent; the writing is raw and compelling, leaving me utterly spellbound from the outset. There's a broad cast of characters but ...
  • Ed Bernard
    2019-01-08
    Hm. Some things are better than the sum of their parts, like the 2016 Super Bowl Champion NE Patriots. This book is the opposite. Everything is in place for a terrific historical suspense thriller – a compelling protagonist, a richly researched time and place, a dramatic plot with a lot of competing interests, beautifully written sentences and a fine ear for dialog, many good secondary characters. And yet, at least for me, this book was a bit o...
  • Melissa Dee
    2018-11-15
    Its easy to dismiss some of the violent, gritty periods in history as the product of excess testosterone and insufficient civilization. But the story of the women who chose to dress as men, and swagger their way through the early part of the century defies that explanation. Alma Rosales is a ruthless, ambitious ex-Pinkerton detective. She works as a man named Jack Camp. More than bisexual, Rosales/Camp seems to have no fixed sexual identity at al...
  • Donna Hines
    2019-02-18
    It's 1887 and Detective Alma Rosales is on the hunt for stolen opium.It's best for mature audiences as we have a character who operates as bi sexual and often shows her sexual prowess after certain violent actions which was bizarre as a reader.Many may take issue with the fact she's also gone undercover as a man throwing the relatable factor to the main character out the window. In terms of writing style it was spot on and superb. It captured the...
  • Paula Lyle
    2018-11-04
    Who knew that sleepy Port Townsend could ever have been so exciting? This was compelling reading and I never considered putting it down, but this is a brutal book. There is a lot of sex, a lot of violence, and a lot of mixing of the two. If any of that bothers you, consider this a warning. The ending left a bad taste in my mouth and I'm still struggling with my overall rating for this. Very interesting heroine, but not sure that I would read anot...
  • Kylie
    2019-01-12
    Queer bisexual mystery of my dreams, where have you been all my life?! I love queer, subversive characters. Gritty mysteries. Well-written sexual tension. Yet I've never gotten all three in one book -- until The Best Bad Things. I found myself constantly delighted by how Carrasco's characters transgress the social norms we (or at least I) usually assume were in place during the late 1800s. As a queer person, it was so incredibly refreshing to rea...
  • Jennifer Myers
    2018-12-10
    108 pages in but I wasn't hooked by the characters or the plot. The story features a woman who goes undercover as Alan to sniff out the snitches in 1870s west coast. I had trouble following all the characters and who was double-crossing whom. After reading a few other reviews that shared the same feelings I had, I decided to put this book to rest, at least for now.