Customer Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The era is more interesting than the story, 20 Nov 2013
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This review is from: What It Was (Kindle Edition)
Pelecanos time-travels us back to Washington in the June of 1972 for this violent, stylish novel that actually doesn't have too much going on in the way of plot. His eye for detail allows snappy, fashion-aware pen pictures to be drawn of the various dull characters that populate the proceedings, but frankly you don't end up caring much about the cops or the crooks.

Pelecanos's Washington of 1972 is a macho, violent place, with criminals breezing around in big, powerful cars that are described in loving detail. The soundtrack of the times is resuscitated with equal precision and affection, but as another Amazon reviewer has rightly said, this book is style over substance.

Gun-battles, theft, drug-taking and dealing all feature, so this is pretty much standard fayre for the books Pelecanos produces, and although it's breezily, sharply written and easy enough to read, there is not much depth to really get your teeth into.

The sights and sounds of 1972 are faithfully recalled, and there is the inevitable nod to the rumblings of the Watergate scandal that went on to bring down a President, but it's not exceptional stuff by any means. Think old seventies episodes of your fabourite American cop shows with a dash of 1973's Bond caper Live and Let Die and you have the essence of the mood captured here.
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Review Details

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4.0 out of 5 stars (22 customer reviews)
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Reviewer

Jl Adcock "John Adcock"
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Location: Ashtead UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 976