Monday, August 24, 2009

Books I've read this week - The Night Gardener

The Night Gardener ©2006 by George Pelecanos; Reading Group guide edition © 2009
I won this book from Bev at Merry Weather Book Blog. Thanks again Bev!

About the book: “When the body of a local teenager is found in a community garden, detective Gus Ramone relives intense memories of a twenty-year-old case. Back when he was a rookie, Ramone and his partner “Doc” Holliday assisted legendary detective T. C. Cook in the investigation of a series of murders involving young victims. The killer, dubbed “the Night Gardener,” was never caught.

The fierce sense of anger, regret, and purpose that once burned among these three men comes rushing back as they race to vanquish the monster who has stalked their dreams. For Cook, now retired, it means solving one of the few cases that eluded him. For Holiday, whose career as a cop was derailed, it’s one last chance to redeem himself. For Ramone, catching the killer means not only doing his job but knowing that his own teenage son, who was a friend of the dead boy, won’t be the next victim.”

This is the first Pelecanos book I have read and I liked it very much. If you are a fan of television’s Law and Order, you will like this book. Gus Ramone is Italian and married to a black woman so his family knows first-hand about discrimination. He’s a good cop who goes by the book. “Doc” Holiday turns to the bottle and/or picks up strange women all too often to cover his feelings of resentment and frustration over losing his police job and he blames Ramone. T. C. Cook just wants to catch the ‘one who got away’ before he dies. All these men come together to try and solve the latest murder and just maybe, put some of the past behind them.

Pelecanos does a good job portraying the stressful lives of Washington, D. C. cops in their fight against racism, drugs, discrimination, and prostitution while also getting into the minds of the criminals. He shows how hard it is growing up in a poor, rough area and the reasons so few are able to rise above it. There was great dialog and character development. I highly recommend this book if you like crime stories.

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