Author: George P. Pelecanos

Information about the author.

Works

Book:Hell to Pay

Hell to Pay: A Novel

George P. Pelecanos

Derek Strange and Terry Quinn, the team of investigators who made their bestselling debut in Right As Rain, are hired to find a fourteen-year-old girl who’s run away from her home in the suburbs. It’s easy for Strange and Quinn to learn that the girl is now working as a prostitute in one of D.C.’s most brutal neighborhoods. Getting her to leave is harder. The two ex-cops think they know this world-but nothing in their experience has prepared them for the vengeance of Worldwide Wilson, the ruthless operator whose territory they are intruding upon.

Their mission is fractured by a violent criminal act against a young player from the neighborhood football team that Strange coaches. Tracking down the perpetrators becomes a point of honor for Strange and Quinn, and their investigation leads them deep inside the city’s labyrinth of crime-and back, again, to the lethal Worldwide Wilson.

Book:Right as Rain

Right as Rain

George P. Pelecanos

Derek Strange is an ex-cop who now runs his own private detective agency. The mother of a young police officer killed by another cop hires him to clear up the lingering doubts surrounding her son’s death. Although Terry Quinn, the other cop, has been cleared in the official investigation, his guilt torments him. After Strange interviews him, Quinn joins the investigation, even though in part he is investigating himself and whether his own prejudices led him to pull the trigger.

Strange and Quinn seek their answers in the darkest sectors of Washington, D.C., where racism and ruthless capitalism create a lawless world. This is a brilliant and savage thriller by the writer the Washington Post has called a fresh, new, utterly hard-boiled voice

Book:The Night Gardener

The Night Gardener: A Novel

George P. Pelecanos

The haunting story of three cops—one good, one bad, one broken—and the murder that reunites them in a showdown decades in the making. Gus Ramone is good police, a former Internal Affairs investigator now working homicide for the city’s Violent Crime branch. His new case involves a body found in a community garden. The murder unearths intense memories of a case Ramone worked as a patrol cop 20 years earlier, when he and his partner, Dan “Doc” Holiday, assisted a legendary detective named T.C. Cook. The series of murders was never solved.

Holiday left the force under a cloud of morals charges, and Cook retired but still agonizes about the Night Gardener killings. The new case draws the three men together, re-igniting the love, regret, and anger that once burned between them as they try to lay to rest the monster who has stalked their dreams.

Book:The Way Home

The Way Home: A Novel

George P. Pelecanos

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, threatening this new-found stability with sudden treachery and violence. With his father and his most trusted friends, he takes one last chance to blast past the demons trying to pull him back.

Like Richard Price or William Kennedy, Pelecanos pushes his characters to the extremes, their redemption that much sweeter because it is so hard fought. Pelecanos has long been celebrated for his unerring ability to portray the conflicts men feel as they search and struggle for power and love in a world that is often harsh and unforgiving but can ultimately be filled with beauty.

Book:The Turnaround

The Turnaround

George P. Pelecanos

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. But another survivor is now out of prison, looking for reparation in any form he can find it.

The Turnaround takes us on a journey from the rock-and-soul streets of the ’70s to the changing neighborhoods of D.C. today, from the diners and auto garages of the city to the inside of Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital, where wounded men and women have returned to the world in a time of war. It is a novel of fathers and sons, wives and husbands, loss, victory and violent redemption, another compelling, highly charged novel from George Pelecanos, “the best crime novelist in America” (Oregonian).

Book:Soul Circus

Soul Circus

George P. Pelecanos

A Washington, D.C., crime overlord is fighting for his life in court. Two younger dealers are fighting for his territory, prestige, and millions of dollars in future profits. It takes only one slip-a kid going out of control with a rented pistol-to push friction closer to wholesale slaughter.

In the midst of this extraordinary tension, private investigator Derek Strange has found a woman whose testimony could mean death or freedom for the crime lord. He wants her to talk-but first he’ll have to find a way to keep her alive.

Step by step, Strange and his partner are drawn into the darkness, confronting gunrunners, drug dealers, and ordinary people caught up in the ruthless violence of the business. Soul Circus is a heart-stopping thriller that could only have been written by George Pelecanos, the writer who “has gone from cult favorite to acknowledged master” (Booklist).

Book:Drama City

Drama City: A Novel

George P. Pelecanos

Lorenzo Brown just wants to stay straight. After eight years in prison on a drug charge, he’s come “uptown”—back to the Washington, DC neighborhood where he grew up, where his old cohorts still work their corners and their angles, trying to get ahead and stay alive. But Lorenzo’s had enough of the life: now he has a job as a Humane Society officer, policing animal abusers and protecting the abused. In the dangerous streets he used to menace, Lorenzo plays a part in maintaining order—and it’s a role reversal some of his former friends don’t appreciate. Rachel Lopez, Lorenzo’s parole officer, tries to help him, even as she battles her own demons and excesses. Trying to stay one step ahead of her troubled past is a daily struggle. It looks like they both might make it, until a malevolent young killer, working for the powerful local drug boss, changes everything with one violent act. Now Lorenzo finds himself caught between the light and dark sides of the street, struggling to stay legit—or throw everything away to exact revenge.

Book:Hard Revolution

Hard Revolution: A Novel

George P. Pelecanos

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 a 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.

Book:Shame the Devil

Shame the Devil: A Novel

George P. Pelecanos

Shame the Devil opens with a restaurant robbery gone awry in Washington, D.C. Several workers are shot in cold blood, the gunman’s brother is killed by police, a young boy is run over by the getaway car. Victims and their relatives gather together in the aftermath, attempting to find a way past their grief. Except one: the gunman is determined to avenge, not grieve, his lost brother—by killing every person involved in his death.

Shame the Devil captures D.C. as only “the Zola of Washington” (PW) could, bringing together characters whose survival readers will care about desperately. This is a breathtaking book—vivid, fast, hard, moral—by a writer hailed as “one of the best crime novelists alive” (Dennis Lehane).

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