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Right as Rain Hardcover – 1 Feb 2001

4.1 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Little Brown and Company (Feb. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316695262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316695268
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,031,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

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.

Book Description

'The coolest writer in America' (GQ) with a brilliantly accessible and commercial novel. --This text refers to the Perfect Paperback edition.

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4.1 out of 5 stars
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By A. Ross TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 16 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
I've lived in DC for 20 years, my family is from here, and Pelecanos is only the second author I've come across who writes about the DC that I know and recognize (the other Edward Jones, check out his story collection "Lost in the City" if you can find it). In this new book, he steps away from his established characters Nick Stefanos and Dmitri Karras, and launches a new duo, black, middle-aged PI Derek Strange, and younger, white ex-cop Terry Quinn. Through them, and the story of Chris Wilson, an off-duty black cop shot by Quinn, Pelecanos displays the racial awkwardness and tension that pervades Washington, D.C. The central message of the book is that everyone, regardless of race, carries preconceptions with them about other groups. That doesn't make them racist-that term is reserved for those who carry hatred in their hearts.
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.
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By Johnnybluetime VINE VOICE on 1 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback
My introduction to Pelecanos was The Big Blowdown a brilliant noir novel that reads like a lost classic from the '40's, and from his work on The Wire. I picked this up in a charity shop and couldn't wait to start reading it, but what a disappointment it turned out to be.A very straightforward private detective mystery thriller sub Dennis Lehane's Kenzie/Genaro novels.The twist this time is that the twosome are middle aged black hipster Derek Strange and cool white dude Terry Quinn. Did I say twist?Well only if you don't remember the '60's and Bill Cosby and Robert Culp in I Spy and Hickey & Boggs, tv show and movie respectively and both infinitely superior to this in exploring the dynamic between black and white. And bringing things more up to date it's very hard to believe from reading this that Pelecanos has anything to do with the superlative The Wire.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been reading pretty much everything that Pelecanos has written but this is my first foray into reading his Quinn and Strange books and I think it is an okay book with all the usual Pelacanos ingredients: music references, car culture and a bit of Greek when he can lever it in.

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.
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Format: Paperback
This was my first venture into George P. and I must confess to being somewhat underwhelmed as he is undoubtedly hugely popular. I enjoyed the book but wouldn't classify it as any sort of classic as it is extremely cliched. The "good guys" are a black guy - white guy couple with lots of author asides about race which didn't impress. The "bad guys" are fairly obvious "redneck" types who listen to country music and sell drugs and kill people in that order.Pelecanos spends too much time describing Strange's (the P.I.)choice in music. This adds nothing to the story and is an annoying mannerism.The plot is well worked and the ending is solid but there are fairly obvious nods to the "screenplay" hopes with the obligatory lovemaking scenes and the conclusion paving the way for the follow-up. I will read more of his books but he won't replace my favourite crime authors - Rankin, Connolly and Ellroy. Not essential reading.
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