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Publisher's Summary

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.

While the rookie cop navigates the rocky terrain of a city in turmoil, a family in crisis, and his love for a woman he has driven away, Frank Vaughn, a cop at the opposite end of his career, investigates the vicious hit and run of a young black man. Vaughn's personal life is in shambles, but he's good police; he pursues the killers with sharklike intent. Meanwhile, in Memphis, a prophet is murdered, igniting a volcanic chain of events that will leave the nation's capital burned, divided, and decimated, forever changing the lives of its working-class inhabitants.

©2004 George P. Pelecanos. All rights reserved; (P)2004 Time Warner Audiobooks, a division of the Time Warner Book Group

Critic Reviews

"Written in rich, observant prose, the novel is a brilliant study of a society tearing apart as racial tensions escalate after the King killing; no wonder some observers have pointed to Pelecanos as the kind of thriller writer who should be nominated for a National Book Award." (Publishers Weekly)
"Pelecanos has been justly celebrated for his noir sensibility and his gritty portraits of the streets of Washington, D.C., but he hasn't been recognized for what may be his greatest achievement: redefining the art of writing serial fiction." (Booklist)
"Mr. Pelecanos, one of today's most stellar writers of hard-boiled crime fiction....writes clean, tight, cogent prose with a heartfelt urgency....it packs a serious punch." (The New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Vintage Pelecanos

Since I have read the unabridged version and listened to the abridged this is one of the better shortenings I've come across. This is also an early exposition of Derek Strange and why he came to leave the police force. Pelecanos demonstrates his usual exceptional quality at character development and well captivating storyline. Excellent crime story. A fine place to start if you have not read Pelecanos before.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Nola
  • Miramichi, NB, Canada
  • 04-04-04

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

If I woulda known that for some reason this book needed a overbearing musical soundtrack at all the wrong moments, I coulda saved myself the money on this one. I shoulda just said NO.
Please, it certainly ruined this book for me... at times i could not hear the narrator. I was in format 2 which might not be conducive to quality music...but listen folks ... if i want to watch TV i will... please do not impose a soundtrack - hey we like the books the way they are. Or at least identify when a book has a significant soundtrack so that I can avoid them. OTher than that this book coulda been a contender for a good quick read .. :^ )

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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  • Nick
  • Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 07-01-13

Annoying audio book

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

not the audiobook

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

its a little preachy

What didn’t you like about Lance Reddick’s performance?

The read of the book is fine but at various points swelling background music is added in the background, i guess to make it more emotional. It's very distracting and makes it seem like the target audience is young children. <br/><br/>I prefer to navigate a book on my own and not be directed as to which points are important or moving.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful