It's 1986 and Washington DC is being torn apart by the cocaine trade. The Mayor is too busy chasing coke and hookers to care, and the police force is manned by corrupt rednecks like Richard 'King' Tutt. Down in the neighborhoods, black children are shooting each other over nickel bags and the outside world just doesn't care. The only man prepared ...
It's 1986 and Washington DC is being torn apart by the cocaine trade. The Mayor is too busy chasing coke and hookers to care, and the police force is manned by corrupt rednecks like Richard 'King' Tutt. Down in the neighborhoods, black children are shooting each other over nickel bags and the outside world just doesn't care. The only man prepared to do anything about it is Marcus Clay whose new record store - Real Right Records - is in the heart of the ghetto. Business is okay. What isn't okay is that his wife has thrown him out and his best friend, Dimitri Karras, is hitting the recreational substances way too hard.
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Publishers Weekly, 1998-07-13 Pelecanos (King Suckerman) lays a fair claim to be the Zola of Washington, D.C. The latest of his thrillers, which use a recurring cast of ordinary Washingtonians to chronicle the city's decline since WWII, brings us to 1986, when Vietnam vet Marcus Clay, founder of ("African American Owned and Operated") Real Right Records, and his employee and best friend, aging Greek-American cokehead Dmitri Karras, witness a grisly car accident outside Clay's newest record shop on the struggling U Street strip. A suburbanite, in town to score blow from Karras, steals $25,000 in drug money from the car and inadvertently starts a race between local hoods and dirty copsæto get the money back and avenge the theftæthat jeopardizes the neighborhood's fragile peace. As always, the intertwined fates of black and white Washington inform the fates of Pelecanos's individual characters, and if he cooks up saccharine subplots for his protagonists, the city's large and small tragediesæits crack epidemic, the overdose of local hero Len Bias, the disgrace of home rule, the withering of D.C.'s last independent music scenes, the ugly segregation of the placeæcut the sweetness and haunt the compelling main plot from beginning to end. With characters for whom the White House is just a tourist attraction, Pelecanos is that rare bird among Washington novelists, a writer who loves and knows the city he writes about. (Aug.)
Publishers Weekly, 1998-06-01 The pulsating and relentless latest Washington, D.C., crime novel from Pelecanos (King Suckerman, etc.) comes strewn with memorable characters steeped in the 1980s zeitgeist. Eddie Golden pulls a pillowcase full of drug money from a burning car. His girl, Donna Morgan, is meanwhile buying blow from Dimitri Karras in the nearby record store owned by Marcus Clay. Clarence Tate works for Marcus, and his teenage daughter Deniceis running with Alan Rogers, a local kid who works for drug dealer Tyrell Cleveland, who owns the money in the pillowcase?and wants it back. Pelecanos expertly works a taut narrative in which all the central characters are trapped in a situation leading inexorably towards violence. Riding shotgun over the proceedings are Murphy and Tutt, two crooked cops in Tyrell's employ. Both are volatile for vastly different reasons: Tutt just because he's a racist and a thug from way back; Murphy because his conscience is about ready to kick in. Pelecanos nails down the decade securely with his careful detailing: acid-washed jeans; lines of cocaine laced with baby powder; new romantic music; Terminator. 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. Author tour. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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