- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
Soul Circusby George Pelecanos
Synopses & Reviews
Granville Oliver is a drug lord on trial for his life. Derek Strange is the private investigator, family man, and Pee Wee Football coach with his own reasons for helping him. With his quick-tempered partner Terry Quinn keeping him sharp, and the old-school sounds of the Chi-Lites and the Spinners keeping him right, Strange is close to finding the struggling single mother whose testimony can save the notorious criminal Granville from the death penalty. But D.C.'s shattered streets have turned into a free-for-all. Hip-hop warriors are armed to the teeth while one man ignites a pitched battle for Granville's turf. On one side: Strange, Quinn, and an innocent woman's life. On the other: a murderous merry-go-round of bad young men with good new guns just waiting to go off...
"This is vintage Pelecanos, with characters to remember, dialogue that rocks, an unsentimental, kinetic tableau of the D.C. underworld, and most of all, a conscience." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Like the novels of Richard Price...Soul Circus is both tragedy and thriller....Mr. Pelecanos continues to display a sharp eye for detail and a terrific ear for street dialogue....And once again, he will leave readers eagerly awaiting his next move." Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"[B]oth a gripping thriller and a tense internal drama. As always, his deeply textured portraits of the victims of poverty and violence add an almost Dickensian breadth to the novel....
"Soul Circus (great title!) is the third of Pelecanos' novels about the uneasy partnership between the African-American Strange and the Irish-American Quinn — it's also the best and the bleakest....This may be the most violent of Pelecanos' books, and if the violence sometimes flirts with pulp grimness, it also sticks; it's never a kick. Along with the increased level of violence is a sure-footed black humor....Pelecanos' dialogue reads like some collaboration between the pitch-perfect realism of Richard Price and the ear for skewed, comic speech that is one of Elmore Leonard's gifts. It's terse and precise with rhythms that catch you on the rebound....If Pelecanos' view is grim, it isn't hopeless. Alongside the violence of the communities he writes about are the portraits of people trying to live their lives as they always have....Yes, George Pelecanos is writing the sharpest and smartest urban thrillers around. He's also holding up the tradition of novelist as social reporter, with none of the preaching that might entail, and all the craft and toughened compassion you could want." Charles Taylor, Salon.com
"Pelecanos's latest...shows his prodigious ambition overflowing the bounds of one novel into a torrential epic of cops and robbers....The bleak, powerful fadeout reserves resolution mostly for the dead..." Kirkus Reviews
"[A]bsorbing....Pelecanos is exceptionally insightful with regard to contemporary urban life....Pelecanos is an author to read even if you're not a mystery fan; for those of you who are, he's in a class by himself." Bruce Tierney, BookPage
"[W]ith every book, Pelecanos takes his descriptive powers to a higher level of brilliance. Scenes of violence are re-read for the beauty of the language and the cinematic quality that pushes readers to envision urban evil in all its forms." Carol Memmott, USA Today
"Pelecanos is fascinated with the way things work, and he takes apart the gun trade like an urban anthropologist....At the same time, he treats his criminals like human beings...getting into their world with something that can only be called sympathy." Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
"What's so brilliant about Soul Circus...is that [Pelecanos] raises these questions not only in meditative passages...but also in scenes of the rawest violence....
"Pelecanos' protagonist isn't a crusader or some burnt-out cynic. This wonderfully odd thriller finds Strange spending more time arguing politics with his white partner, Terry Quinn, than he does brow-beating informants." Chris Barsanti, Book Magazine
"Pelecanos delivers his usual mix of great dialog, strong protagonists, music criticism, and light sociology....A strong entry in an excellent series." Library Journal
"The author's most satisfying Derek Strange novel." Entertainment Weekly
"Once readers find their way to George P. Pelecanos, they'll want to read every book he's written, and then they'll want him to pick up the pace and give us more." Houston Chronicle
"This beautifully written novel is crime fiction at its best....Pelecanos's characters are so alive you expect to see them in the next room." Philadelphia Inquirer
A Washington, D.C., crime lord fights for his life in court while P.I. Derek Strange finds a woman whose testimony could mean death or freedom for the crime lord.
About the Author
George P. Pelecanos is a screenwriter, independent-film producer, award-winning journalist, and the author of the bestselling series of novels set in and around Washington, D.C., where he lives with his wife and children.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like