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(04/12/2008) Shame The Devil by George P. Pelecanos. Boston. 2000. Little Brown. keywords: Mystery Washington DC Pulp. 300 pages. Jacket design by Tom Brown.Jacket photograph by Joshua Sheldon/Photonica. 0316695238. January 2000.

This remarkable tale of loss and redemption caps off a series of three crime novels set in Washington D.C., not the Washington D.C. you might think you know, but a city of crime and shadows. This book took my breath away.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   The Farrow Brothers have come to the city with mayhem on their minds. Setting out to rob a restaurant, they see the job go spectacularly wrong: While Frank kills several of the restaurant's workers, a cop spots Richard in the getaway car and kills him in a gunfight. Speeding away, Frank hits and kills a young boy out for a walk with his mother. It's a disturbingly bloody and ruthless encounter, even for D.C. DIMITRI KARRAS, the father of the boy, joins a grief-counseling group for survivors of the murders. But Frank Farrow hears of the group and joins it in his own way: He vows to take vengeance for his brother by killing everyone who had a hand in his death. Karras realizes it's up to him to stop Farrow - if he can come up with a plan that will work, and if he can overcome his own fears and scruples. SHAME THE DEVIL is the profoundest kind of crime fiction, a story with a heart-stopping pace and the most evil killers this side of Elmore Leonard - but with an eye on the hereafter and the real cost of violence. As it builds to a showdown worthy of Sam Peckinpah, SHAME THE DEVIL explores the very essence of human nature, the beliefs that give lives meaning, and what people do when they see those beliefs broken. Written with the visceral plotting and searing language that have led other writers to call George Pelecanos 'one of the best crime novelists alive'(Dennis Lehane) and 'among the finest ten or twelve novelists working in the U.S. today'(James Sallis), SHAME THE DEVIL is more proof that Pelecanos has 'carved out a territory and a language of danger all his own' (Chicago Tribune).

 

 

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