BookBrowse Reviews The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos

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The Night Gardener

by George Pelecanos

The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos X
The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Aug 2006, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2007, 364 pages

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A novel that is a perfect union of suspense, character, and unstoppable fate

Cops and robbers" plots are two-a-penny. What raises Pelecanos above so many others writing in this genre are his sub-plots and characterization. While the main plot has a beginning, a middle, and is more or less tied up at the end, a number of the sub-plots that are so exceptionally weaved into the main are left dangling, either we don't quite know where they start or we don't know how they will end - this isn't frustrating, it's just realistic. One such story-line is about Diego, Ramone's son, who struggles to gain respect in the predominantly white suburban school his parents have snuck him into (showing that Ramone, while definitely a "good cop" isn't above bending the law when it comes to doing the best he can for his children).

As for his characters - 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.

This review was originally published in August 2006, and has been updated for the August 2007 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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