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(04/05/2008) The Big Blowdown by George P. Pelecanos. New York. 1996. St Martin's Press. keywords: Mystery Washington DC. 314 pages. Jacket Design And Artwork By Charles Rue Woods. Jacket Photograph By Eve Arnold/Magnum. 0312142846. May 1996.

George Pelecanos is one of the best of American crime fiction writers. He is a modern-day Balzac, featuring a host of returning characters throughtout his novels. Major characters from one novel will often make cameo appearances in other stories, giving the reader an opportunity to see those personalities in a whole new light. The Big Blowdown, while not his first novel, is chronologically first in the series. I would recommend starting here, but it is not absolutely essential that you do.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   For Joey Recevo and Pete Karras, two kids from one of Washington's rougher neighborhoods, the easiest work to find after the War is all criminal - providing a little muscle for a local boss. But Karras is soft on his fellow immigrants, and the boss can't let his mob get soft, so one of his boys gives Karras a painful lesson. Three years later, it's this same mob that figures big Nick Stefanos's grill needs protection - and this decision will, once again, bring Joey and Pete face-to-face. In this final confrontation, the two of them will find the meaning of friendship and honor, and its cost. Powerfully told, elegantly wrought, THE BIG BLOWDOWN delivers on all of George Pelecanos's early promise and establishes him at the forefront of today's crime writers. 'Bold and broad-shouldered, a crime epic filled with passionate characters and the gritty life of the street. Strongly felt and sharply written. Pelecanos lifted me from my chair and hurled me right into the mean D. C. streets of the 1950s. Bravo!' - T. Jefferson Parker, author of SUMMER OF FEAR. 'Pelecanos's books get into your blood like a shot and a beer after a third shift. Definitely my favorite writer working today. You can stay in on Saturday night now - Pelecanos will fill you in on what happened. ' - Peter Farrelly, author of OUTSIDE PROVIDENCE.

 

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