Daniel Fierman
February 23, 2001 AT 05:00 AM EST

Right as Rain

Current Status
In Season
George Pelecanos
, Fiction

We gave it a B+

Chinatown whorehouses. Back-alley bars. Sooty strip joints. Pelecanos plunges back into his Washington, D.C., a town littered with spent syringes and stray shell casings, far removed from the corridors of power. His new hawkshaw, Derek Strange — African-American PI, soul music aficionado, lover of the ladies — is charged with clearing the name of an off-duty black cop accidentally killed by a white officer, Terry Quinn, in a bust gone awry. That Quinn and Strange join forces is incidental; the Lethal Weapon trope is just a way into a slightly tin-eared exploration of the prickly friction of race rubbing against race. Sure, the subject is sticky, but the plotting is smooth; and by the time the pieces have slid together, you’re more than ready to see Quinn and Strange ride again. B+

You May Like