Rocco Klein, veteran homicide detective, has had enough of life on the edge. When a warm summer night brings yet another drug-related murder, he has no sense that the case is anything special. A young black man steps forward to confess but a little digging reveals that he's never been in any kind of trouble, whereas his half-brother, Strike, runs ...
Rocco Klein, veteran homicide detective, has had enough of life on the edge. When a warm summer night brings yet another drug-related murder, he has no sense that the case is anything special. A young black man steps forward to confess but a little digging reveals that he's never been in any kind of trouble, whereas his half-brother, Strike, runs a crew of street-corner coke deales - 'clockers' - in a nearby housing project. Soon Rocco is sure that Strike is the real killer - and suddenly Rocco's appetite for the job is back. With a vengence...
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For anyone who loves the gritty characters of Richard Price. If you grew up in Hudson County NJ you will certainly recognize the setting of Price's fictional Dempsey NJ. Read the book in four days. Love Price and was not disappointed with this older novel.
Publishers Weekly, 1993-10-25 With consistent authority, Price explores the gritty underside of a New Jersey housing project in this four-week PW bestseller. (Dec.)
Publishers Weekly, 1992-03-09 Selling $10 bottles of cocaine to drive-by customers, clockers are at the low end of the drug-dealing chain. One step up is Strike Dunham, an ulcer-ridden, black 19-year-old who oversees his part of the operation from a bench in the housing projects of a New Jersey city called Dempsy--the bleak and confined world that screenwriter and novelist Price ( Sea of Love and The Wanderers, respectively) explores with consistent authority. The murder of another dealer in Strike's drug organization brings in middle-aged, almost burned-out homicide detective Rocco Klein, who doesn't believe it when Strike's brother Victor, a young man with a family, two jobs and a clean record, confesses to the crime. The shooter's identity and motive are the questions on which Price turns this thoroughgoing exploration of Dempsy's dark and gritty underside, a place marked by unceasing, often random, motion and by the steady closing in of horizons. At the same time, Price plumbs the remarkably parallel interior worlds of Rocco and Strike. Although neither the hard-drinking Rocco, with a wife and infant daughter, nor the solitary Strike, who downs bottle after bottle of vanilla Yoo-Hoo to soothe his stomach pain, has a drug habit, each is as addicted--Strike to power and status, Rocco to the unpredictability and risk of his job--as are the junkies both pursue. The vividly depicted Dempsy seems a Dantean hell, at once a place and a condition from which escape may be impossible. 100,000 first printing; first serial to Esquire; movie rights to Universal; author tour. (May)
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