The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos
George Pelecanos is one of America’s foremost crime writers. He is also one of the writing team who worked on David Simon’s The Wire TV series. It shows. His novels are beautifully natural, unaffected, slices of life. Full of the detailed concerns of the everyday and yet struck through with grander themes, all carried in the vehicle of a crime novel, his stories verge on masterpieces. Certainly it is hard to think of another American crime writer who writes with this panache. He is in many ways a modern Hammett or Chandler – he seems to have that sort of stature. This latest story is about the murder of a black teenager and the two men who become entangled in trying to find the killer – one a cop, the other an ex-cop – against a backdrop of their every day lives. Nothing is ordinary in this case or its resolution.