LAW & CRIME

Horseplay: My Time Undercover on the Granville Strip

NeWest Pr. Nov. 2020. 264p. ISBN 9781988732985. pap. $17.95. CRIME
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Boucher offers a gripping, novelistic account of his eight months as an undercover drug agent for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1983, starting with his insertion into the Granville Street drug scene. With prior undercover experience, Boucher was able to blend in after initially rousing some suspicion, posing as a construction worker who dabbled in heroin. Many of the dealers he encountered also lived with addiction, and Boucher effectively conveys their desperation and humanity. When he finally met a bigger dealer, he found that the seller kept distant from the product and the street; still, Boucher worked to bring him down. The author reviewed reports from nearly 40 years ago and relied on his notes to craft his narrative; given that he wasn’t wired, however, much of the extensive, colorful dialog has likely been re-created. His vivid, present-tense narration immerses readers into a gritty world of addiction and crime.
VERDICT This memoir about undercover police work will appeal to fans of Joseph Pistone’s excellent Donnie Brasco and Michael McGowan’s Ghost.

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