Walk into the Mystery section of Powell's and mention that you are looking for
a gritty, compelling, and downright cool crime novelist, somebody in the ranks
, and quicker than you can blink there will be a novel by George
in your hands. It's a sad fact that Pelecanos's taut and urgent
narratives, razor sharp dialogue and astute characterizations have not made
him a household name. His books remind me of the best of the crime genre in
contemporary cinema, films like Tarantino's Jackie Brown
The Sweet Forever is Pelecanos's seventh novel and a belated sequel
to his debut novel King
Suckerman. As well as central players Marcus Clay and Dimitri Karras, there
are also cameos by characters from some of his other novels sprinkled throughout.
Firmly planted in the seedy underbelly of Washington DC in the mid-eighties,
The Sweet Forever portrays the ghetto neighborhoods that rely on drug runners
and pushers and the corrupt cops who stalk the streets in search of trouble
and "a little brown sugar action." Marcus and Dimitri witness the theft of a
bag of money intended for a local drug lord, after a car crashes in front of
Marcus's record store. Whether they like it or not, they are plunged into the
middle of an urban war that no one can hope to win. Pelecanos flawlessly creates
period details through references to music, sports heroes, and the narcotics
of choice. Complex character interactions light the kindling to a suspenseful
and inevitable climax. Pelecanos is not to be missed by any serious fan of the
crime genre. Georgie, Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A bold, brilliant tale of mystery, revenge, and survival in the 1980s, when cocaine and money ruled the city streets and even the good guys wanted a piece of the action.
It's March madness and the college boys are playing basketball on TV. But on the streets of D.C., the homeboys are dealing, dissing, dying. From behind plate glass, with an 80s backbeat pounding in his brain, Marcus Clay watches it all happen, and prays that he can make a go with his downtown record store. Then a car comes careening down U Street, and what Marcus sees next will plunge him into the middle of a war.
A drug runner is decapitated in the crash. A bystander--a white boy desperate to buy a woman's love--snatches a bag of cash from the wreck, and a prince of crime wants it back. For Marcus's buddy, Dimitri Karras, the mayhem is a chance to make a score. For a pair of dirty cops it's a chance to get free. And for dozens of lives swept up into the maelstrom, it's just another springtime in America's capital, where the game is played for keeps.
"Most of all, the novel is a winner because Pelecanos is able to utilize
two stylistic brushes for his composition: a large one for fashioning the
novel's sweeping neo-epic scale, and a smaller one for the multitude of nuanced
character studies that populate his lavishly constructed canvas." Publishers
"For some time George P. Pelecanos has been the best-kept secret in crime
fiction maybe all fiction
.You can't put this book down or out of mind.
It is one of the best novels I have read in years." Michael Connelly, author
of Angels Flight
"One of the best crime novelists alive, George Pelecanos is an American original. The Sweet Forever...is a beautiful, brilliant book....Volcanic, violent, exhilarating." Dennis Lehane, author of Gone, Baby, Gone
Marcus Clay and Dimitri Karras want very much to mind their own business, but that's not the way their karmas crumble, as Pelecanos makes clear in this rousing, raunchy sequel to King Suckerman....the violence-averse should probably give a pass to this otherwise almost compulsively readable entertainer." Kirkus Reviews
One of the 1990s' rising stars of crime fiction delivers a bold, brilliant tale of mystery, revenge, and survival in the 1980s, when cocaine and money ruled the city streets and even the good guys wanted a piece of the action.
About the Author
George Pelecanos is the author of several highly praised and bestselling novels, including The Cut, What It Was, The Way Home, The Turnaround, and The Night Gardener. He is also an independent-film producer, an essayist, and the recipient of numerous international writing awards. He was a producer and Emmy-nominated writer for The Wire and currently writes for the acclaimed HBO series Treme. He lives in Maryland.