Wednesday, 25 August 2010

"Drama City" by George Pelecanos

Year of Publication: 2005
Number of Pages: 291 pages
Genre: Crime, thriller

Summary: In Washington D.C., Lorenzo Brown has recently been released after eight years in prison on drugs charges. Determined to lead put his criminal past behind him and lead an honest life as a law-abiding citizen, Lorenzo takes a job at the Washington Humane Society, patrolling the streets of the city looking for abused and neglected animals. Although Lorenzo's resolve is constantly tested by his old friends and cohorts who are still dealing drugs on the same corners.
Helping Lorenzo stick to the straight and narrow is his parole officer Rachel Lopez. Although popular, dediacated and very good at ther job, Rachel has her own demons to fight, mainly her alcoholism.
However, a stupid misunderstanding over territory between two rival drug gangs flares violently out of control when a vicious killer guns down two members of a rival gang, setting in motion a chain of events which threaten to destroy both Rachel and Lorenzo.

Opinions: George Pelecanos is the author of fifteen novels to date, all set in and around Washington D.C.. He is also a journalist and a producer and writer for television, most notably on the HBO series The Wire, and most recently The Pacific and Treme. Drama City is a gritty and powerful novel dealing with themes of drugs, violence, alcoholism and animal cruelty as well as what leads people to take up crime and how hard it can be to change, even with the best of intentions. The book moves between various characters and storylines which come together in the last quarter. It is a tough, brutal story which is nevertheless laced with grim humour and also genuine compassion. It's well written and moves at at lightning fast pace. Pelecanos fans might be interested to look out for a brief cameo from recurring Pelecanos character Derek Strange early in the novel.
Naturally the book will appeal to any fans of The Wire, but should also appeal to fans of general crime fiction.

"Drama City be more like it"
"Like them two faces they got hangin' over the stage in those theatres. The smiling face and the sad."
"City got more than two sides."

-George Pelecanos, Drama City

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