Mystery George Pelecanos Hell to Pay

ISBN 13: 9780446611329

Hell to Pay

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9780446611329: Hell to Pay

Private investigators Derek Strange and Terry Quinn ("Right As Rain") are hired to find a 14-year-old suburban runaway who's working as a prostitute. But nothing prepares these former D.C. cops for the pimp whose territory they're intruding upon.

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Review:

In Hell to Pay, Washington, D.C., is just one more thug in an endless list of thugs who brutalize the poor, the weak, and the young. The primary victim this time is a rising star on Derek Strange's Pee Wee football team. In this city where making T-shirts for bereaved families of young murder victims is a full-time business, the boy is an accidental victim in a war between drug dealers and lowlifes.

Private investigator Strange, in his second George Pelecanos outing (after 2001's Right as Rain), has seen enough of this face of D.C. His relationship to his secretary/lover Janine sputters in the wake of increasing, irrational infidelities. His moral compass swings wildly as he tracks the killers, Garfield "Death" Potter and friends. Not knowing if he can be satisfied seeing these men in prison, Strange contemplates other brands of "justice."

For fans of Pelecanos, all the usual trappings are here: the hyper-real dialogue, the bloody street fights, the immersion in classic R&B, and the most current music on the streets. Pelecanos does stumble in a few places. His narrative becomes wooden at times, and his plot features a couple of glaring coincidences (e.g., Strange just happens to jot down the license plate of a car that later turns out to be the one driven by the murderers). But Pelecanos is the real deal in noir. If Dennis Lehane owns Boston and Michael Connelly is master of L.A., Pelecanos is dark D.C.'s intimate chronicler. --Patrick O'Kelley

About the Author:

George Pelecanos is a screenwriter, independent film producer, award-winning journalist, and the author of bestselling novels set in and around Washington, D.C., where he lives with his wife and children. Pelecanos is also a writer and producer on the HBO hit series, The Wire.

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George Pelecanos
Published by Grand Central Publishing (2003)
ISBN 10: 0446611328 ISBN 13: 9780446611329
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Pelecanos, George
Published by Grand Central Publishing (2003)
ISBN 10: 0446611328 ISBN 13: 9780446611329
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