A true crime classic of drugs and murder in Denver, Colorado by the New York Times bestselling author of Smooth Talker—with a new forward and epilogue.
Early one morning in May 1997, a young couple spotted a man dragging a body up a secluded trail in the mountains of Colorado. Then the man fled, leaving behind a bloody, dying woman. The resulting investigation lead from that idyllic spot to the criminal underbelly of Denver: a world of prostitution, drugs, and violence. Rough Trade recounts that investigation, and tells the story of three tragically damaged individuals: the victim, a young street walker named Anita Paley, the suspect, a drug dealer named Robert Riggan, and Anita’s friend, Joanne Cordova, a former cop-turned-crack addict and hooker.
In the past, Cordova had submitted to violent sex with Riggan in exchange for drugs. But when Anita was murdered, Joanne decided to risk her own life by going to her former colleagues on the police department to tell them what she knew. Raised in his own private hell, Cordova endured rape, incest, and extreme abuse to become a violent sexual predator. Cordova, meanwhile, summoned the courage to testify against the man she believed killed her friend—and find her own redemption in the process.