Synopses & Reviews
Lorenzo Brown loves his work. As an officer for the Humane Society, it is his job to cruise the city streets, looking for dogs that are being mistreated underfed, unclean, trained to kill. He takes pride in making their lives better. And that pride helps Lorenzo resist the pull of easier money doing the kind of work that got him a recent prison bid. Rachel Lopez loves her work, too. By day she is a parole officer, helping people Lorenzo Brown among them along a path back to responsibility and advancement. At night she heads for the city's hotel bars, where she can always find a man who will let her act out her damage. She loses herself in sex and drink and more.
But Rachel's nights are taking a toll on her days. Lorenzo knows the signs. The trouble is, he truly needs her right now. There is an eruption coming in the streets he's left behind, the kind of territorial war that takes down everyone even near it. Lorenzo needs every shred of support he can get to keep from getting sucked back into that battleground. He reaches out to Rachel but she may be too far gone to help either of them.
Writing with the grace and force that have earned him praise as "the poet laureate of the crime world," George Pelecanos has created a novel about two scarred and human people who must navigate one of life's most brutal passages. It is an unforgettable, moving, even shocking story that will leave no reader unchanged.
"Pelecanos's later fiction, set on the drug-saturated streets of ghetto Washington, D.C., is charged with the dark, unrelenting inevitability of Greek myth. In the author's 13th novel, 'dog man' Lorenzo Brown, a street investigator for the Humane Society, has recently completed an eight-year stretch in prison for narcotics and is determined to stay clean and free. Rachel Lopez, Lorenzo's parole officer, spends her days chasing down clients and her nights getting drunk in bars and having rough sex with strangers. The ignition point for the violence that eventually engulfs these two fully realized, attractive characters characteristics that in Pelecanos's world mark them as quite probably doomed is a minor argument between local drug kingpins that inflates into a series of revenge killings. Pelecanos is known for his bleak, uncompromising outlook (Hard Revolution
; Hell to Pay
; The Sweet Forever
) and while the death and destruction are still here in full force, some fans may question the turnaround in his ending. Might it be an attempt to hit the megabestseller stardom that fans think he deserves? Hope and redemption are fine subjects for many novelists, but it's the stark world of violence and despair that this author really owns. Agent, Sloan Harris at ICM. 7-city author tour. (Mar. 22)
" Publishers Weekly
(Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Pelecanos continues to expand the parameters of crime fiction....Though set on the same streets as Pelecanos' earlier books, this novel works on a smaller scale....It's not a view we see much in genre fiction, making it all the more welcome." Booklist (Starred Review)
"[An] unsparing stand-alone tale....The dog-eat-dog metaphor...provides a brutal, tender new way for Pelecanos to get at his great subject: the miraculous survival of lilies among the toxic weeds of the Nation's Capital." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] lean, stirring, knife-edged novel....Drama City transports the reader directly into its characters' struggles and gives a visceral sense of each little challenge or victory." Janet Maslin, The New York Times
] works, for exactly the same reason The Wire
...works, by turning the day-to-day struggles of working people in American cities into a melancholy, rich poetry. (Grade: A-
)" Entertainment Weekly
"The climax is likely to surprise even the most prescient of readers....[A] writer of enormous talent, whose work we've come to anticipate with great excitement. So far, Pelecanos has given us no reason to expect anything less than a terrific ride." Chicago Sun-Times
"Stereotypes rob a book of its vitality and mystery and, more dangerously, they are divisive, misleading readers with faulty images of people and cultures beyond their ken. Pelecanos has written a book in which the characters are lost without translation." Washington Post
"In its own way, Drama City is Shakespearean in substance power, violence, sex and, yes, nobility of a sort if not in style. There's plenty of reality here, but even the groundlings might not have objected to a more elevated tone." Dallas-Ft. Worth Star Telegram
In this blistering and soulful novel of the D.C. underworld, an ex-con finds himself caught between the light and the dark sides of the street after a malevolent young killer spoils his chances to stay straight.
About the Author
George Pelecanos is an independent-film producer, an award-winning journalist, a producer and writer on the hit HBO series The Wire, and the author of a bestselling series of novels set in and around Washington, D.C., where he lives with his wife and children.