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Publisher's Summary

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. Red Fury doesn't have a retirement plan, as Vaughn points out - he doesn't care who he has to cross, or kill, to get what he wants. As the violence escalates and the stakes get higher, Strange and Vaughn know the only way to catch their man is to do it their own way.

Rich with details of place and time - the cars, the music, the clothes - and fueled by non-stop action, this is Pelecanos writing in the hard-boiled noir style that won him his earliest fans and placed him firmly in the ranks of the top crime writers in America.

©2012 George P. Pelecanos (P)2012 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
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Have some time? You could do a lot worse.

What did you like best about What It Was? What did you like least?

Clever plot, believable characters, well-paced.

Would you be willing to try another book from George Pelecanos? Why or why not?

Pelecanos tells stories well. He's always worth reading or listening to.

Have you listened to any of J. D. Jackson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This was a first for me. Don't think it'll be the last.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Probably.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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a good , entertaining book

Another entertaining thriller , with a good balance of action, atmosphere and a fast moving plot. Pelecanos' fans will not be disappointed...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Who's writes street better?

What did you love best about What It Was?

He is the best street crime writer there is. He nails the jargon, the speed, the grit.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes. The chase was great. Left me wanting more.

What about J. D. Jackson’s performance did you like?

He has a rich voice and handles the rhythm of the cops speech and the street jargon well.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

It doesn't need one. The title is the tag line!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The wire guy delivers

Good arc. In the vein of DC quarter stuff. Took me from Utah to LA and was engrossed the entire time.

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  • Performance
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FINALLY, A GOOD READING OF A PELECANOS.

Where does What It Was rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

I DON''T LISTEN TO THEM IF THEY AREN'T WELL WRITTEN AND WELL READ.

What other book might you compare What It Was to and why?

GOOD STORY. GOOD READER

What does J. D. Jackson bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

I DON'T KNOW, BUT IT WORKS. (I WOULDN'T HAVE READ THE NOVEL).

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

JUST HAD A VERY GOOD 'LISTEN' TO A GOOD STORY. THANK YOU

Any additional comments?

FINALLY A READER I CAN LISTEN TO FOR A PELECANOS. MORE PLEASE!

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  • John
  • 12-29-14

Would Have Made A Better Short Story

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Cannot really answer this. I am a huge Pelecanos fan, but this seemed like a short story padded out into a rather weak novel

What will your next listen be?

Going to give fiction a miss for the time being .... now into sports books

Would you listen to another book narrated by J. D. Jackson?

Probably .... wasn't the best, but by no means the worst narrator

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from What It Was?

About 50-60% of the book was superfluous to the story

  • Overall
  • marie
  • 12-23-12

Excellent and evocative thriller

Pelecanos treats all his characters and his readers with respect. If you go on a journey with this book you will feel you understand the people he writes about and the choices they make. And with Pelecanos. ' Tout comprendre, c'est tout pardonner.'