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Soul Circus

Pelecanos, George P.

2,198 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0316608432 / ISBN 13: 9780316608435
Published by Little Brown & Co, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., 2003
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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Signed on title page. 1341 pp.Unread, as new in like DJ. Bookseller Inventory # 6908

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Soul Circus

Publisher: Little Brown & Co, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition.

Book Type: Book

About this title


In the midst of a brutal courtroom battle during which a Washington, D.C. crime overlord faces the death penalty and his rivals vie for his territory, private investigator Derek Strange struggles to protect a witness's life. 60,000 first printing.


George Pelecanos's Washington, D.C., is a place rife with high-living drug dealers, easily obtained guns, and a generation depleted by ignorance, excessive machismo, and misplaced trust in the equalizing power of violence. Yet PI Derek Strange "did love D.C.," as Pelecanos acknowledges in Soul Circus, his third novel (after Right as Rain and Hell to Pay) to feature this mid-50s black detective and his younger white partner, Terry Quinn. Strange's optimism may be running at even higher gear than normal here, following his marriage to his longtime secretary, Janine Baker, and his determination to be a good stepfather to her son.

Picking up where Hell to Pay left off, we find Strange working in Soul Circus on behalf of Granville Oliver, a manipulative black mobster charged with murder and racketeering, who faces the death penalty. To help his client knock that sentence down to life imprisonment, Strange will have to find a nail salon worker named Devra Stokes, who used to be the girlfriend of Phillip Wood, a former associate of Oliver's and now the prosecution's chief witness against him. Stokes had sworn out an abuse complaint against Wood, and might testify that he was behind at least one of the killings Oliver is said to have planned. But, fearing for her own safety and that of her young son, she wants no part of Oliver's defense. Meanwhile, Quinn--against his better judgment--helps a homely, unpredictable gangsta-wannabe, Mario "Twigs" Durham, locate his girlfriend, who supposedly went missing, but in fact skipped out with his drug stash. Even as the threads of this yarn come together amid a deadly gang conflict, Pelecanos stays focused on his characters--not only his intriguingly troubled sleuths, but also a deftly nuanced cop-turned-gun dealer, Ulysses Foreman. Buttressed by Pelecanos's street-slangy prose, Soul Circus delivers an un-blindered perspective on urban life (and death) that manages to be both frightening and hopeful. Not so unlike the city in which it's set. --J. Kingston Pierce

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