What It Was

What It Was

3.7 44
by George Pelecanos
     
 

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Washington, D.C., 1972. Derek Strange has left the police department and set up shop as a private investigator. His former partner, Frank "Hound Dog" Vaughn, is still on the force. When a young woman comes to Strange asking for his help recovering a cheap ring she claims has sentimental value, the case leads him onto Vaughn's turf, where a local drug addict's been…  See more details below

Overview

Washington, D.C., 1972. Derek Strange has left the police department and set up shop as a private investigator. His former partner, Frank "Hound Dog" Vaughn, is still on the force. When a young woman comes to Strange asking for his help recovering a cheap ring she claims has sentimental value, the case leads him onto Vaughn's turf, where a local drug addict's been murdered, shot point-blank in his apartment. Soon both men are on the trail of a ruthless killer: Red Fury, so called for his looks and the car his girlfriend drives, but a name that fits his personality all too well. Red Fury doesn't have a retirement plan, as Vaughn points out - he doesn't care who he has to cross, or kill, to get what he wants. As the violence escalates and the stakes get higher, Strange and Vaughn know the only way to catch their man is to do it their own way.

Rich with details of place and time - the cars, the music, the clothes - and fueled by non-stop action, this is Pelecanos writing in the hard-boiled noir style that won him his earliest fans and placed him firmly in the ranks of the top crime writers in America.

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Editorial Reviews

Janet Maslin
…a sleek, fast-paced crime tale…
—The New York Times
Patrick Anderson
In recent decades, as American crime fiction has reached new heights, a few novels have been outstanding, including Dennis Lehane's Mystic River, Laura Lippman's What the Dead Know and Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series. The five [Derek] Strange novels belong on that list. They're about crime, but, finally, they're a profound meditation on good and evil in this city, mostly in parts of it that many of us pass through often but never really see.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
At the start of this action-driven novel, a special treat for longtime Pelecanos fans, two old friends, Derek Strange and Nick Stefanos, enjoy a few drinks in a Washington, D.C., bar, where Strange relates a story that has become the stuff of myth on the streets. Flashback to 1972, one of the most volatile and exciting years in the country's history. Strange, who left the D.C. police force after the ‘68 riots, has set up shop as a private investigator. A young woman hires Strange to find a stolen ring, and the case soon leads him to a homicide scene, where he meets up with his former partner, Frank "Hound Dog" Vaughn. Vaughn is on the trail of a killer, Robert Lee Jones, whose street name, Red Fury, fits not just his temperament but his formidable girlfriend's sleek red-over-white Plymouth Fury GT Sport. As Vaughn and Strange work their respective cases, a series of increasingly brazen and violent crimes keep bringing them together. They quickly realize that the only way to take down Red Fury is to do it their own way. Inspired by a real chapter in D.C. history, Pelecanos (The Cut) gives us the rich period detail—the cars, clothes, music, and attitude—of the 1970s. Agent: Sloan Harris, ICM. (Jan.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316209557
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
01/23/2012
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
318,838
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

George Pelecanos is the author of several highly praised and bestselling novels, including The Cut, What It Was, The Way Home, The Turnaround, and The Night Gardener. He is also an independent-film producer, an essayist, and the recipient of numerous international writing awards. He was a producer and Emmy-nominated writer for The Wire and currently writes for the acclaimed HBO series Treme. He lives in Maryland.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Silver Spring, Maryland
Date of Birth:
February 18, 1957
Place of Birth:
Washington, D.C.
Education:
B.A., University of Maryland at College Park, 1980
Website:
http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/features/georgepelecanos/

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What It Was Deluxe Slipcase Edition) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
great characters and dialogue
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Exciting from beginning to end. Great protagonists, and a good story line.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bslr More than 1 year ago
From the clothes to the cars the characters are genuine and I felt like I was in a time machine. Thats why I read so much to escape reality. Am I alone in this?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Liked the book and will go out of my way to read more by the author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Starts slow, but picks up pace and i sure consider it a pageturner.
RGB1 More than 1 year ago
Great read. Brought back memories of another time.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I suffered with the main character through all of his choices. I enjoyed the ending also.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mo51 More than 1 year ago
Didn't relate with any of the characters. Didn't like the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not all world, but very good reading, especially if you grew up in the 70's.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mdrg More than 1 year ago
It turned out to be an interesting story. Was surprised how it ended.
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