Gus Ramone is "good police," a former Internal Affairs investigator now working homicide for the city's Violent Crime branch. His new case involves the death of a local teenager named Asa whose body has been found in a local community garden.
The murder unearths intense memories of a case Ramone worked as a patrol cop twenty years earlier, when he and his partner, Dan "Doc" Holiday, assisted a legendary detective named T. C. Cook. The series of murders, all involving local teenage victims, was never solved. In the years since, Holiday has left the force under a cloud of morals charges, and now finds work as a bodyguard and driver. Cook has retired, but he has never stopped agonizing about the "Night Gardener" killings.
The new case draws the three men together on a grim mission to finish the work that has haunted them for years. All the love, regret, and anger that once burned between them comes rushing back, and old ghosts walk once more as the men try to lay to rest the monster who has stalked their dreams. Bigger and even more unstoppable than his previous thrillers, George Pelecanos achieves in The Night Gardener what his brilliant career has been building toward: a novel that is a perfect union of suspense, character, and unstoppable fate.
THE CRIME SCENE was in the low 30s around E, on
the edge of Fort Dupont Park, in a neighborhood known as Greenway, in
the 6th District section of Southeast D.C. A girl of fourteen lay in the
grass on the side of a community vegetable garden that was blind to the
residents whose yards backed up to the nearby woods. There were colorful
beads in her braided hair. She appeared to have died from a single
gunshot wound to the head. A middle-aged homicide police was down on one
knee beside her, staring at her as if he were waiting for her to awake.
His name was T. C. Cook. He was a sergeant with twenty-four years on the
force, and he was thinking.
His thoughts were not optimistic. There was no visible blood on or around the girl, with the exception of the entrance and exit wounds, now congealed. No blood at all on her shirt, jeans, or sneakers, all of which looked to be brand-new. Cook surmised that she had been undressed and re-...
Pelecanos's Washington is not the glamorous side of politics and money but the other side of the city, which is so often portrayed in one dimension; Pelecanos shows us the usual aspects, such as the inner city schools, the garbage and the guns, but he takes us deeper to meet the parents who care for and worry about their children; and children who, despite their outward appearance, want to respect their parents.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (583 words).
George P. Pelecanos was born in Washington, D.C. in 1957. He worked as a line
cook, dishwasher, bartender, shoe salesman, electronics salesman, and
construction worker before publishing his first novel in 1992. He is the
author of fourteen crime/noir novels to date, all set in and around Washington,
D.C. In addition to his books and various works of short fiction he has
also produced three feature films, Caught (1996),
Whatever (1998) and Blackmale (1999), and is a staff writer and story
editor for the HBO series,
The Wire. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife and three children.
Nick Stefanos series
A Firing Offense (1992)
Nick's Trip (1993)
Down by the River Where the Dead Men Go (...
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