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113. The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos...

July 16, 2009
night gardenerAbout the book:
In 1985, the body of a 14-year-old girl turns up in a Washington, D.C., park, the latest in a series of murders by a killer the media dub "The Night Gardener." T.C. Cook, the aging detective on the case, works with a quiet, almost monomaniacal, focus. Also involved are two young uniformed cops, Gus Ramone, who's diligent, conscientious and unimpressed by heroics, and Dan "Doc" Holiday, an adrenaline junkie who's decidedly less straight.

Fast forward 20 years. Detective Ramone, now married with kids of his own, investigates the murder of one of his teenage son's friends. The homicide closely resembles the earlier unsolved Night Gardener murders. Holiday, now an alcoholic chauffeur and bodyguard, follows the case on his own and tracks down Cook, long retired but still obsessed with the original murders. While the three work together toward a suspenseful ending, Pelecanos emphasizes the fallacy of "solving" a murder and explores the ripple effects of violent crime on society.

drey's thoughts:
The Night Gardener is a mystery/detective novel that's more about the people--the detectives, the families, the victim--than it is about solving the crime itself. Yes, there's a crime (more than one, in fact, but there's just the one in the present time). Yes, there are detectives looking into the crime. And a few ex-detectives as well. But the story that Pelecanos tells pulls you along with the characters as they go about their daily lives--at work, at home, with friends, with suspects...

The creepiest part of the book? The second to last paragraph in the book. And I cannot say any more, or I'll give it away.

Title: The Night Gardener
Author: George Pelecanos
ISBN-10: 0316056502
ISBN-13: 978-0316056502
Paperback: 372 pages
Publisher: Back Bay Books, 2009

14 comments:

Suzanne said...

Nice review, as always! And I have an award for you! You may have this already, but I wanted to acknowledge you anyway! Come by and pick it up!

http://chickwithbooks.blogspot.com/2009/07/awards-awards-and-big-thank-you-from-me.html

Suzanne

Anna said...

Now I'm going to have to get my hands on a copy to read the creepy paragraph!

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Book Bird Dog said...

Now I won't go out into the garden at night. Not that I ever do since my night walking dog passed away.

lilly said...

I have one of his books but never read it. I might try him out now, it does seem like the kind of mystery I like.

drey said...

Anna - you can have my copy if you'd like... email me.

Kelly @ The Novel Bookworm said...

This sounds sooo good! I'm going to have to get this book---soon!! Great review!

bermudaonion said...

I read this years ago and enjoyed it. I think Pelecanos is a great writer.

Kat Bryan said...

i won this and just received it yesterday. Now I'm going to have problems not reading that paragraph. Thanks a lot Drey! LOL

drey said...

lol, Kat! Nobody said I couldn't tease... =P

enyl said...

your review has intriuged me. Would love to read it.

Bill and Lorie Shewbridge said...

Great review, I've been seeing reviews all over the blog world, and I can't wait to read this book. Yours just make me want to read it even more... Thanks.
Have a great day.

Serena said...

I cannot wait for my copy of this book to arrive in my mailbox. Thanks for the review...the cliffhanger about the second to last paragraph is going to kill me until that copy arrives.

drey said...

Heh. Sorry Serena!! But you'll know what I mean when you get there...

Sheila DeChantal said...

You mentioned the creepy part and I had to go get my copy and read that again....

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