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Soul Circus


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A masterpiece of crime writing, SOUL CIRCUS is darkly atmospheric with strong characterisation and a compelling plot His new hardback, HARD REVOLUTION, will also be available in Orion Trade George Pelecanos was shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger 'Vintage Pelecanos' INDEPENDENT 'Firmly establishes him as a prince of crime writers who may one day become king ... Pelecanos has a style all his own ... a gripping story of cops-turned-private detectives who deal with wild young drug dealers ... a bleak, compelling novel' ESQUIRE 'Powerful and moving' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'Once again Pelecanos has deliv

About the Author

George Pelecanos lives in Washington D.C. with his wife and children. He also manages Circle Films, an independent production company responsible for such films as the Coen Brothers' Raising Arizona, Miller's Crossing and Barton Fink. Richard Allen: As a veteran stage actor, Richard Allen works on both coats of the US, from originating the role of Booker T. Washington in the hit musical, Ragtime, to his recent Los Angeles Drama Critics nominated work in Play On! An acclaimed narrator of audiobooks, he resides in New York City.


Pelecanos (Hell To Pay) continues his saga of the tribes of Washington, DC-no, not Republicans and Democrats, but its "permanent residents," who live in its unacknowledged pockets of poverty and desperation. Derek Strange and the hot-tempered Terry Quinn, the pepper-and-salt detective duo, continue to mete out their brand of street justice while saving the world one or two kids at a time. Having energized Pelecanos's latest two novels, the characters should attract new fans in this taut and timely effort. Here, the focus is on guns and the damage they do to the community. Strange finds himself involved in defending an imprisoned DC crime lord. With the boss off the streets, several pretenders try to fill his shoes, chief among them Dewayne Durham. His older brother is an accident waiting to happen, and when it does, it brings down many of the book's leading players. Coming hard on the heels of Michael Moore's popular antigun documentary Bowling for Columbine, this could ignite a conversation that just might drown out that sound of gunfire in the background. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/02.]-Bob Lunn, Kansas City P.L., MO Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

'Pelecanos once again exposes the rotten underbelly of Washington's streets, ravaged by the crime caused by drug gangs... Pelecanos masterfully shows up 'bling-bling' as the ignored, indignant soul displaying itself in a theatre of violence.' -- THE OBSERVER 'Pelecanos expertly marshals a cast of hundreds ... this is contemporary American crime fiction at its best.' -- DAILY TELEGRAPH 'Hard-boiled, latter-day, noir detective fiction doesn't get much better than this.' -- HOT STARS 'The third of Pelecanos's Strange and Quinn novels effectively combines noir thriller with urban realism.' -- SUNDAY TIMES 'There's a relentless, hard-edged grimness permeating this highly effective crime thriller.' -- GOOD BOOK GUIDE

PI Derek Strange continues to prowl the South East quadrant of Washington, D.C., in Pelecanos's 11th novel (after Hell to Pay), which caroms madly and brilliantly between warring drug crews, opportunistic gun dealers and intimidated witnesses. Strange is hired by lawyers defending Granville Oliver, a murderous high-profile drug dealer now headed for death row. Strange has to locate a reliable witness who could earn Granville a commutation to life in prison. His best bet is Devra Stokes, the former girlfriend of Philip Wood, a deputy drug dealer who had worked under Oliver and testified against his boss. Stokes filed a brutality complaint against Wood, and Strange might be able to cast doubt on Wood's credibility, if he can only find the disgruntled ex-girlfriend. Strange is growing weary of the dejection in this neighborhood, of fatherless black boys who become gullible thugs who go on to orphan another generation. But the real crime, Pelecanos suggests, is the ready supply of firearms ("Simple as buying a carton of milk. And you didn't even need big money to do it... the community could chip in to buy one. What they called a neighborhood gun"). These guns, Pelecanos reminds us, are wielded by little more than children who want to impress their friends. Dewayne and Mario Durham, teenaged brothers trying to work their way up the ladder of thugdom, are prime examples, and Mario's blind allegiance to his smarter younger brother has terrible consequences. The ensemble cast also includes charismatic mercenary gun dealer Ulysses Foreman. Foreman and Strange are the oldest characters in the cast, and as the body count rises, Pelecanos keeps readers guessing as to who will bow first. This is vintage Pelecanos, with characters to remember, dialogue that rocks, an unsentimental, kinetic tableau of the D.C. underworld and, most of all, a conscience. (Mar. 4) Forecast: The paperback edition of Pelecanos's Hell to Pay comes out in March. That book was the first to put him on the extended New York Times bestseller list, and this one could be even bigger, propelled by a 20-city tour, national advertising and floor displays. Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

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