This novels 2 central characters – Vaughn and Strange are fairly well written but the characterisation of the minor characters could have been better.  The plot was difficult to follow because I was being distracted from it by all the long, rambling descriptions.

There were too many descriptions of cars and too much general description, it felt like it was there to fill out the book rather than to build the characters.  I prefer descriptions of characters to be a little more subtle than just reading large paragraphs of what they look like and what they are wearing.  There was also too much reference made to what the characters are listening to on car radios and jukeboxes which does nothing to advance the plot.

Generally it was very slow paced.




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Dialogue was written almost in dialect, I found this to be too much as it makes the book hard going and put me off the characters.  I felt that Pelecanos could have stated the accent that his characters spoke and just dropped a few slang words into the dialogue to reinforce this rather than lacing all the dialogue with ‘gang speak’.

I found myself checking the percentage of the book I had left to read because I wanted to get it over with, do the review and move onto something better.

I will not be actively seeking out other books by this author.

2 Stars.