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Right as Rain by George P. Pelecanos
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“Right as Rain” is the first novel in a series of four novels by George Pelacanos about Washington, D.C., detectives Derek Strange and Terry Quinn. It was followed by “Hell To Pay,” “Soul Circus,” and “Hard Revolution.” This is the first novel in the series (although Hard Revolution, a far more ambitious work, goes back to childhood origins). All of these novels are excellent and highly recommended.
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  DaveWilde | Sep 22, 2017 |
This book has been around for awhile, and I wish I'd come across it earlier. Usually, when I 'discover' an author with a deep catalog, I'll read the latest book, then go back and start at the beginning and work forward. For some reason, I'd bounced around with George Pelecanos and had already read the other Strange novels, and it was a pleasure getting into this one and learning about the genesis of the relationship between Derek and Terry Quinn.

As with all of his novels, Mr. Pelecanos paints a vivid, gritty, realistic picture of the setting, usually DC and environs. He has a knack for dialogue, which I believe helps him build his characters very efficiently. In this story, you can really get a feel for who both Derek Strange and Terry Quinn are by what's coming out of their mouths. I love good dialogue, and Mr. Pelecanos is right up there with guys like Elmore Leonard, John Sandford, and George Higgins circa Eddie Coyle.

The story is very believable and moves at a brisk pace. The writing technique of developing the story by following different groups of characters that intersect at some point can often be a problem, but it worked well in this case. The only real issue I've had with Mr. Pelecanos' books is that he can sometimes be 'preachy', which he usually tries to do in an indirect way. Although race was an essential part of the story line, it may or may not have been the key element to the shooting that was investigated.

This was a great introduction to the Strange/Quinn partnership that leads into subsequent novels I've already read... hope he comes up with a few more. The characters, dialogue, plots, and settings are wonderful. ( )
  gmmartz | Jun 21, 2016 |
totally into this guy right now and really enjoying the stories ( )
  jimifenway | Feb 2, 2016 |
Well written. Grim. He seems to know the streets he's talking about. ( )
  quiBee | Jan 21, 2016 |
This is the book where we are introduced to Derek Strange and his part time helper Terry Quinn.
Strange is hired by the mother of an off duty cop who was killed by Quinn also a Cop at the time. This book takes us on a journey through the underbelly of Washington DC.
Strange reluctantly likes Quinn and see's he has potential. Thet uncover a large drugs deal and also unravel the truth about the killing of the off duty Cop. Good book this apart from all the music references I found that a bit boring. ( )
  Daftboy1 | Jul 13, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0446610798, Mass Market Paperback)

George Pelecanos's Washington, D.C., is a far cry from the upwardly mobile, tourist-attraction-speckled enclave of Margaret Truman (Murder at the National Cathedral, Murder in Georgetown). Pelecanos's capital is a haunting terrain of drugs and death, a no man's land of posturing dealers and skeletal warehouses that shelter their buyers:

A rat scurried into a dim side room, and a withered black face receded into the darkness. The face belonged to a junkie named Tonio Morris. He was one of the many bottom-of-the-food-chain junkies, near death and too weak to cut out a space of their own on the second floor; later, when the packets were delivered to those with cash, they'd trade anything they had, anything they'd stolen that day, or any orifice on their bodies for some rock or powder.
When PI Derek Strange is hired by Chris Wilson's mother to find out why her son, a black cop, was killed by a white cop, Terry Quinn, on a dark night in that no man's land, Strange figures that the answer is painfully clear: a typical case of mistaken identity, fueled by the assumptions and preconceptions of Quinn's innate racism. But what Strange finds is a tentative kinship with Quinn, who is desperate to proclaim himself "color-blind." Kicked off the force and convinced that there's more to his own story, Quinn asks to join Strange in his investigation. As the two pry into the past, drifting through the neighborhoods both men have known all their lives, they find themselves enmeshed in a tangle of cold-blooded competition and heated personal enmity.

Pelecanos generally has a light touch with the treacherous quagmire of -isms, veering only occasionally into sententious meanderings about the consequences of an economically and racially divided society. His wry humor, particularly in his descriptions of Earl and Ray, the heroin middlemen who bring the concept of white trash to a depressingly low level, leavens the novel's noir bleakness. And Strange himself is a compelling character: a middle-aged black man who has seen more of life's callousness than he cares to admit, and whose jitteriness about personal commitment speaks volumes about his own expectations for happiness. A strong character and a good read--Pelecanos fans can settle in and look forward to Strange's next appearance. --Kelly Flynn

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:58 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

At a mother's request, Derek Strange investigates the killing of one police officer by another in the D.C. underworld, where police officers and criminals operate by their own secret laws, and where human life is sometimes of less consequence than cash, drugs, and other forms of currency"--Jacket, hardcover ed.… (more)

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