“If you like your crime hard and fast, Kalteis is for you.” — The Globe and Mail
Set to the cranking beat and amphetamine buzz of Vancouver’s early punk scene, Zero Avenue 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, Middle Finger, 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 Middle Finger, finds out about it and decides that was easy enough. 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 off his other field — a trail that leads to Johnny and Frankie.
Dietrich Kalteis’s debut novel Ride the Lightning won an Independent Publishers Award and was hailed as one of the best Vancouver crime novels. More than 40 of his short stories have been published internationally. He lives with his family in Vancouver, B.C.
“I urge you to take a ride down Zero Avenue in the Zambezi green Karmann Ghia with Frankie and her punk cohorts — you will not be disappointed! The early Canadian punk scene in Vancouver is written with such vivid tang it makes me wish I’d been there — only I wouldn’t have survived! Zero Avenue is written with Kalteis’ characteristic snappy style, with wise-cracking characters scoring sucker punches fuelled by adrenalin and delicious chunks of hash. This book is peppered with verve and great secondary characters — Rita is one of my faves — all in all, Zero Avenue is a treat!” — Lisa de Nikolitis, award winning author of The Nearly Girl, Between the Cracks She Fell, The Witchdoctor’s Bones, West of Wawa, A Glittering Chaos, and The Hungry Mirror
“Zero Avenue hits you punk rock hard and fast. No wasted words, visceral and brutal like being in the pit, this one will leave your ears ringing and you asking for more from Dietrich Kalteis. It’s the punk rock crime novel I wish I’d written.” — Eric Beetner, author of Rumrunners and The Devil Doesn’t Want Me