Spero Lucas has a new line of work. Since he returned home after serving in Iraq, he has been doing special investigations for a defense attorney. He's good at it, and he has carved out a niche: recovering stolen property, no questions asked. His cut is 40 percent. But is any cut worth your family, your lover, your life?
"So entertaining and surprising!"
It's March madness and the college boys are playing basketball on T.V. But on the streets of D.C., the homeboys are dealing, dissing, dying. From behind plate glass, with an 80s backbeat pounding in his brain, Marcus Clay watches it all happen, and prays that he can make a go with his downtown record store. Then a car comes careening down U Street, and what Marcus sees next will plunge him into the middle of a war. A drug runner is decapitated in the crash. A bystander - a white boy desperate to buy a woman's love - snatches a bag of cash from the wreck, and a prince of crime wants it back.
"A textbook on how to write crime fiction-brilliant"
Derek Strange is a rookie cop, the job he's dreamed of since he was a boy. His brother, Dennis, has not been as fortunate; home from the service with a disability pension and zero prospects, he is a man with good intentions but bad habits. Derek has always looked out for Dennis, but no amount of brotherly love can save him from the dangerous world of Alvin Jones, a local bottom-feeder, hustler, and stone killer who draws him into his web of violence.
Mystery sensation Pelecanos pens the lead story and edits this groundbreaking collection of stories detailing the seedy underside of the nation's capital. This is not an anthology of ill-conceived and inauthentic political thrillers. Instead, in D.C. Noir, pimps, whores, gangsters, and con-men run rampant in zones of this city that most never hear about.
Two young dealers are fighting for the now unclaimed territory, prestige, and millions of dollars in future profits. Now the kid brother of one of those dealers is going to escalate the friction into wholesale slaughter. Private investigators Derek Strange and Terry Quinn have found a woman whose testimony could prove the difference between a death sentence and a return to the streets for the crime lord. First they have to get her to talk. Then they have to keep her alive.
On a hot summer afternoon in 1972, three teenagers drove into an unfamiliar neighborhood and six lives were altered forever. Thirty-five years later, one survivor of that night reaches out to another, opening a door that could lead to salvation. Another survivor is now out of prison, looking for reparation in any form he can find it.
"Good Book for a Trip"
Washington, D.C., 1972. Derek Strange has left the police department and set up shop as a private investigator. His former partner, Frank "Hound Dog" Vaughn, is still on the force. When a young woman comes to Strange asking for his help recovering a cheap ring she claims has sentimental value, the case leads him onto Vaughn's turf, where a local drug addict's been murdered, shot point-blank in his apartment. Soon both men are on the trail of a ruthless killer: Red Fury, so called for his looks and the car his girlfriend drives, but a name that fits his personality all too well.
"Have some time? You could do a lot worse."
The job seems simple enough: retrieve the valuable painting - "The Double" - Grace Kinkaid's ex-boyfriend stole from her. It's the sort of thing Spero Lucas specializes in: finding what's missing, and doing it quietly. But Grace wants more. She wants Lucas to find the man who humiliated her - a violent career criminal with a small gang of brutal thugs at his beck and call.
"Enjoyable, light reading"
Christopher Flynn is trying to get it right. After years of trouble and rebellion that enraged his father and nearly cost him his life, he has a steady job in his father's company, he's seriously dating a woman he respects, and, aside from the distrust that lingers in his father's eyes, his mistakes are firmly in the past. One day on the job, Chris and his partner come across a temptation almost too big to resist. Chris does the right thing, but old habits and instincts rise to the surface.
"Fairly pedestrian plot; excellent narration"
Gus Ramone is "good police", a former Internal Affairs investigator now working homicide for the city's Violent Crime branch. His new case involves the death of a local teenager named Asa whose body has been found in a local community garden.
"Worth the purchase"
Best-selling author George Pelecanos takes listeners into the mean streets of Washington D.C. in his latest thought-provoking work of crime fiction. Lorenzo Brown has just been released from prison. Once the member of a brutal gang, he has vowed to change his life for the better. But his new job brings him face-to-face with the members of his old crew on a daily basis - and now it looks like he may be caught in the midst of a brewing turf war.
Like the kind of cars they don't make anymore and the kind of songs they don't sing, the novels of George Pelecanos have the style, rhythm and muscle of classics. Shoedog is vintage Pelecanos: a tale that throbs with soul and pulsates with menace. Constantine was born in D.C., and has been traveling the world ever since-finding everything but a home.
Whether they're cops or conmen, savage killers or creative types, gangsters or God-fearing citizens, George Pelecanos's characters are always engaged in a fight for their lives. They fight to advance or simply to survive; they fight against odds, against enemies, even against themselves. In this, his first collection of stories, the acclaimed novelist introduces readers to a vivid and eclectic cast of combatants.
"Entertaining and gripping"
In the summer of 1976, the nation's capital is gearing up for the Bicentennial. Captain Beefheart's on the eight-track, and the hot new film "King Suckerman" has everyone talking. Two knockaround guys named Clay and Karras are out looking for trouble when they stumble onto a drug deal gone bad and end up with a pile of money that isn't theirs. When the well-armed dealer starts spilling blood to get to the cash, Clay and Karras must take a stand, go straight, and get justice -or maybe just sweet revenge.
Lorenzo Brown loves his work. As an officer for the Humane Society, it is his job to cruise the city streets looking for dogs that are being mistreated: underfed, unclean, trained to kill. He takes pride in making their lives better. And that pride helps Lorenzo resist the pull of easier money doing the kind of work that got him a recent prison bid. Rachel Lopez loves her work, too.
"The President and the Press", by Steve Coll; "All Hail!", by Ian Parker; "Glimmer Twins", by Sarah Larson; "After Black Rock", by Joyce Carol Oates; "The Crime of Our Life", by Roger Angell; "Twisted", by George Pelecanos; "The Ripper", by David Peace; "In the Back Cabana", by Adam Gopnik; "Slide to Unlock", by Ed Park; "Return Engagement", by Alex Ross; and "Rob Jobs", by David Denby.
Hidden beneath the floorboards in a house he's remodelling, Christopher Flynn discovers something very tempting - and troubling. Summoning every bit of maturity and every lesson he's learned the hard way, Chris leaves what he found where he found it and tells his job partner to forget it, too. Knowing trouble when he sees it - and walking the other way-is a habit Chris is still learning. Chris's father, Thomas Flynn, runs the family business where Chris and his friends have found work.
"An interesting study of human nature"