Right as Rain Hardcover – 1 Feb 2001
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It was late at night and everyone was shouting, when off-duty black cop Chris Wilson was shot dead by his colleague Terry Quinn; middle-aged black private eye and ex-cop Strange is hired by Wilson's mother to find out exactly what happened--Wilson ended up being blamed for his own death and she wants her son's name cleared. Strange finds himself taking to Quinn, a bright young man with anger-management issues; Quinn himself is anxious to find out what caused the misunderstanding and shooting that ended Wilson's life and Quinn's career. Right as Rain is an intelligent thriller because it offers no especially easy answers--Quinn is so little a racist that he falls easily into a friendship with Strange, enough of a friendship that he will from time to time make crass assumptions. And meanwhile Pelecanos lets us see enough of the drug-dealing underground of Washington DC and the near-terminal decline of Wilson's junkie sister Sondra that we know there are revelations to come. Pelecanos is good on male friendship and the things that keep people sane--Strange is a richly imagined smart cautious man who puts himself in serious danger for what is right. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'The coolest writer in America' (GQ) with a brilliantly accessible and commercial novel. --This text refers to the Perfect Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Strange is hired to investigate the shooting of her son, Chris Wilson, leading him to Quinn, who works in a little used bookstore in Silver Spring (Like all the locations in the book, the store really exists, it's a few blocks from my office and I sometimes swing by on my lunch break). The two men fall into an uneasy partnership as this discover more about he events that led to Quinn's killing of Wilson. They make an engagingly effective odd couple as they verbally spar with one another about race, underneath their respective flaws, they're good men. At the same time, both men are struggling to make relationships work, Strange with his divorcee secretary, and Quinn with a Latina student/waitress. As with most of Pelecanos's men, they often make selfish or simply clumsy moves in looking for love. And like most of those same guys, they have well-defined tastes in music, cars, movies, and books.Read more ›
The plot is very obvious and I didn't find any of the characters interesting or colourful enough to forget how humdrum much of the dialogue was.The constant music, book and film references seemed less about giving the characters added depth and more about showing how hip Pelecanos thinks he is.Thirty pages from the end I found myself struggling to finish the damn thing.I won't be reading any more of this series, but The Big Blowdown was so good I'll certainly be checking out his other work.
It's the first book in the Strange series and introduces the two (pretty clichéd, to be honest)leads. They seem to be walking stereotypes, but I am honestly not that bothered about that. The plot itself is pretty humdrum and I worked out most of it by mid way through. What does feature, though, is Pelecanos' gift for dialogue and scene setting and he is very, very good at both of these. It's sassy and cool and just makes you want to walk the streets of DC. Pelecanos obviously loves his city and sticks with the maxim that one should write about what they know: I like his creative honesty in that respect.
I have ordered the next in the series because I like his style of writing - but to be brutally honest this is not one of his best books. If you want a proper introduction to Pelecanos read the Washington Quartet (starting with The Big Blowdown) - those books are what Pelecanos is all about.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book would probably be quite a good holiday read, but it is not exactly a page-turner. Some of the characters interesting enough, but the plot itself simply wasn't that... Read morePublished on 17 Jun. 2011 by A reader
Right as Rain is the first in a series of private investigator books by George Pelecanos. The series focuses on Derek Strange a lifetime resident of Washington DC (on the other... Read morePublished on 22 Sept. 2007 by O. Parker
This is my first Pelecanos novel. I normally read a book this size in a week, this one took me 5. Not that its a bad book, its just not that rivetting and moves quite slowly all... Read morePublished on 7 Sept. 2006 by Scully Bloke
I'm not sure I understand where the 5 star ratings are coming from - possibly Pelecanos' formula crime story is just better than most of the dross being published in this genre. Read morePublished on 29 May 2002 by Huck Flynn
"Right as rain" is another very good Pelecanos thriller. The author is recognizable and is still faithful to the space where his novels take place: Washignton DC; and he... Read morePublished on 11 Dec. 2001 by Marina Heck
A most exceptional book about masculinity, race and modern America. Pelecanos paints some deeply disturbing pictures, which stayed with me all day. Read morePublished on 3 May 2001
a wonderful crime story, a moving tale of the growing friendship between two very different men and a fantastic ending. Read morePublished on 5 April 2001