Soul Circus (Derek Strange & Terry Quinn Series #3)

Soul Circus (Derek Strange & Terry Quinn Series #3)

by George Pelecanos
4.2 9


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Soul Circus (Derek Strange & Terry Quinn Series #3) by George Pelecanos

A Washington, D.C., crime overlord is fighting for his life in court. Two younger dealers are fighting for his territory, prestige, and millions of dollars in future profits. It takes only one slip-a kid going out of control with a rented pistol-to push friction closer to wholesale slaughter.

In the midst of this extraordinary tension, private investigator Derek Strange has found a woman whose testimony could mean death or freedom for the crime lord. He wants her to talk-but first he'll have to find a way to keep her alive.

Step by step, Strange and his partner are drawn into the darkness, confronting gunrunners, drug dealers, and ordinary people caught up in the ruthless violence of the business. SOUL CIRCUS is a heart-stopping thriller that could only have been written by George Pelecanos, the writer who "has gone from cult favorite to acknowledged master" ("Booklist").

Author Biography: George P. Pelecanos is a screenwriter,

independent-film producer, award-winning journalist, and the author of the bestselling series of novels set in and around Washington, D.C., where he lives with his wife and children.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316099417
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 03/21/2011
Series: Derek Strange & Terry Quinn Series , #3
Pages: 341
Sales rank: 479,560
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

George P. Pelecanos is a screenwriter, independent film producer, award-winning journalist, and the author of a bestselling series of novels set in and around Washington, D.C., where he lives with his wife and children.


Silver Spring, Maryland

Date of Birth:

February 18, 1957

Place of Birth:

Washington, D.C.


B.A., University of Maryland at College Park, 1980

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Soul Circus 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No fantasy land here. We are taken to places in DC that are known only to locals,EMS and police. The psychological landscape is as dense as the tension of the tale. Though the elements of humanity are universal, it is refreshing to view the city away from K St And the White House.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The case against drug dealer Granville Oliver is so tight that state execution is a sure shot especially since his deputy Philip Wood testified against him. Desperate, Granville¿s attorney hire DC private investigator Derek Strange to coax Wood¿s former girlfriend Devra Stokes, who once filed a brutality complaint against him, to testify so she can destroy his credibility leading to life instead of death for his client. At the same time, Strange¿s partner, former cop Terry Quinn¿s has a client, pathetic small time hood Mario Durham, who hires him to find his missing girlfriend Olivia Elliot. Mario is the older brother of the head of the notorious Six-hundred Crew in Washington Highlands. Terry knows his client lies about love forever, etc., as Terry wants his stolen drugs that she took from him. Other sleuths also work cases, as DC is a place for job security for private investigators. The eleventh appearance of Derek Strange is a powerful private investigative tale that shows how little society is doing to help teens make it. The Durham siblings are on the career path of criminality with no detours. Even prison time will do no more than slow down the pace of their fall. Guns and butter are the market place as both can be purchased easily and relatively cheaply. Still even with such a strong message, the tale is loaded with action, plenty of life and death scenes, and the return of long time characters like Foreman, and a surprise guest appearance by Nick Stefanos. This gritty urban thriller will leave most readers agreeing with the hero¿s thankful belief that his home is an oasis of love and care in a deadly desert. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To be completely honest, Soul Circus was not bad. Although not being one of the best, it was definitely an interesting read and also mentioned topics in which I particularly find myself vigorously researching. It is a bit disturbing at first to accept that some of these events actually occur. This book definitely does not smooth the topics over for the readers, but that is actually one of the qualities of this piece of writing. It gives me a sense of reading a non- fiction, which I find myself typically more fond of. Personally, I recommend this book to a more mature audience. The reason being that the topi mentioned, tend to be a bit raw in context. The vocabulary is in no way hard to understand. However, the  constant references to sex and women could be a bit much for a 10 year old to handle; given his or her maturity level. If you find yourself to be all for a very active book relating to drugs, crime, and don't mind the occasional derogatory and sexist references, go for it! However, if you find yourself easily offended and not very into the topic of killings and crimes, maybe this isn't the book for you. 
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. I just wish I had read Hell to Pay first. Derek Strange is a great character. If you enjoy reading James Patterson books with detective Alex Cross you should enjoy this, though a bit more edgy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is only the second of Pelecanos's books I have read. (The first was 'Shoedog,' a startling exercise in noirish minimalism and a vivid recreation of existential characters caught in a hopeless, doomed caper.) In 'Soul Circus,' the existentialism pervades the characters' lives (with the exception of Derek Strange, who seems to be rock-solid and decent, the anti-hero's anti-hero who hunts bad people while understanding why they're bad he has a peculiar compassion for these people). The power and accuracy of the street language in 'Soul Circus' left me reeling. I've never read dialogue so flat-out realistic. It just jumps off the page. The novel is depressing, but I don't think Pelecanos set out to write a comedy. The word 'gritty' has often been used to describe his work, and that's a pretty accurate word for me. He's unique. Nobody writes so-called 'crime' novels the way he does: the dialogue not only shines, but seems to serve as a narrative device to propel the plot toward his central point (to me at least): the meaningless, out-of-control madness of doomed people who prey on each other. Pelecanos's novels are works of art. He is an original crime writer who writes brilliantly of doomed characters caught up in their own absurd world without seeming to realize that their world is indeed absurd (in the philosophical sense). To use an oxymoron, the characters seem to be hopeful nihilists. Great achievement by a great and gifted writer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With his 11th novel bestselling author George Pelecanos offers another powerful, disturbing and highly readable story set on the mean streets of Washington, D.C. Private investigator Derek Strange with the aid of Terry Quinn again takes center stage as turf battles erupt in violent grabs for territory and money. Accomplished voice performer Richard Allen adds just the right amounts of menace and bravado to his reading, ably inhabiting the skins of both good and bad guys. When a D. C. crime boss is captured and imprisoned he seems a shoo-in for the ultimate punishment. Lawyers representing the gang leader hire Strange to help in getting a lighter sentence. A witness is needed to cast doubt on testimony against the drug lord, and that witness might just be an angry former girlfriend. After all, hell hath no fury like a you-know-who. Meanwhile with the crime boss in jail two young drug dealers are jousting for the apparently up for grabs neighborhood and profits to come. It is, as Pelecanos makes clear, a vicious circle that goes round and round in an amoral neighborhood where fear rules and friendships are forsaken. Pelecanos writes thinking man's thrillers, as his legions of fans will attest.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Pelecanos has well constructed plots but, honestly, I read his books for the insight he has into the lives of people, how they talk, and how they think. His characters are complex and fascinating. I heard Pelecanos talk recently and he described his work as urban westerns and it seems right to me. The characters' conversations on cars, sex, drugs, booze, and music add an extra dimension. He nails the rythm and flow of conversation of working-class city people. He does not sugar-coat anything.