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...
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