Young love is overtaken by the excitement of the drug trade in this joint effort by the pseudonymous Holy Ghost Writer and Barrameda (9/11: Terrorists’ Descent into Jahannam, 2015, etc.).
When Sarah and Davey meet as 11-year-olds in the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, it seems as if the two paintings there—Thomas Lawrence’s Pinkie (1794) and Thomas Gainsborough’s The Blue Boy (1779)—serve as an allegory for their own lives: two people, worlds apart yet meant to be together. Indeed, Sarah and Davey spend years circling each other without actually meeting again. Davey (now “David”) becomes a charismatic, thrill-seeking college student with a love for pranks, and Sarah tackles a writing career. Discouraged by her failures as a novelist, she turns to nonfiction and goes undercover as a marijuana dealer in order to write an article. To her surprise, she finds more success as a criminal than she ever has as a writer. Her operation is growing by the minute, and she ends up unwittingly using David to launder her money. In Mexico, they finally find each other again, but dire circumstances may cut their reunion short. Readers will get caught up in the anticipation of Sarah and David’s eventual meeting and each close call they have. However, much of the charm of the novel’s first half gets lost after the topic of marijuana is introduced. The epic romance seems to transform into a parable about marijuana’s virtues, the evils of the drug war, and the confining nature of a non-bohemian lifestyle. The authors devote paragraphs to discussing the benefits of marijuana and the evils of the pharmaceutical industry, bemoaning the “drudgery of well-paid, steady work,” and portraying the international legal system as a web of intrigue and bribery. Even readers who support marijuana legalization may find it hard to sympathize with the characters, and their journeys into crime come off as unrealistic; Sarah’s transition from frustrated novelist to top-tier drug dealer is lightning-fast, and David becomes an expert at money laundering seemingly instantly.
An unpredictable, improbable exploration of the trials and tribulations of marijuana trafficking.