Shortlisted for the Brass Knuckles Award for Best Nonfiction Crime Book at the Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence!
In his first true crime memoir, undercover operator Norm Boucher recounts eight months spent infiltrating Vancouver's heroin scene, a world of paranoia, ripoffs, and violence. It is 1983 and the War on Drugs is intensifying. From his barroom observer's seat, Boucher candidly reveals the lives of heroin addicts who spend each day looking for their next hit. Their dangerous subculture, centred around three gritty hotels on the Granville Strip, becomes Boucher's domain as he attempts both to gain acceptance in a world far removed from his own and to keep himself safe.
With Horseplay, decorated RCMP officer Norm Boucher takes readers back to the assignment that shaped his outlook on the role of criminal law enforcement and the human side of addiction as it collides with the ruthlessness of the drug business.
Praise for Horseplay: My Time Undercover on the Granville Strip:
"True crime buffs will find much to admire in this eye-opening personal narrative."
~ Publishers Weekly
"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.... His vivid, present-tense narration immerses readers into a gritty world of addiction and crime."
~ Harry Charles, Library Journal
"Boucher's account does not represent vainglory, but that of nitty gritty life in the underworld, a world that few care much about and fewer yet will visit. He has done himself and the RCMP proud."
~Peter M. German, Deputy Commissioner (ret'd.), Royal Canadian Mounted Police
"Horseplay ... leaves us shuddering at the life [Boucher] exposes."
~ Ron Verzuh, The Ormsby Review
"Norm pulls no punches when he writes, but I don't want to give away too many spoilers from the book. Because of that, I humbly suggest that if you have any interest in True Crime, in Addiction, or in the real operations of Canada's undercover officers that you pick up a copy of this fascinating memoir. This should be required reading for all up and coming law enforcement personnel and for anyone working with people who have addictions."
~ Amie's Book Reviews blog