All tagged Washington DC

George Pelecanos, along with Dennis Lehane and the marvelous Elmore Leonard, is one of my go-to authors if I want a crime fiction fix. 

I’ve read all of Pelecanos’ (who’s known by lots of folks for his work writing some of the best episodes of The Wire) novels and my husband wrote his MA thesis on Pelecanos’ early series, the DC Quartet (back when Pelecanos was only known by crime fiction nerds), so it’s hard for me to look at his books in isolation—I always find myself thinking about them in comparison to his other works.

In particular, I have a nostalgic affection for The Sweet Forever (Goodreads, Amazon) and The Big Blowdown (Goodreads, Amazon), which are raw and somewhat less self-conscious than his later, longer novels. Lit-fic fans tend to prefer Pelecanos’ Derek Strange novels because the social commentary is more overt, but I love the strong sense of time and place in the earlier ones. 

Fortunately, Pelecanos’ latest release, What it Was, follows the style of his earlier, shorter hard-boiled crime novels.