Pelecanos, George P. Nick’s Trip.

NY: Little, Brown, 1993.

Pelecanos is now considered one of the best crime-adventure writers around, and with good reason. But while his first novel (to which this is the sequel) was pretty good, the second one has major problems.

Nick Stefanos, ex-advertising manager for a big electronics retailer in Washington, D.C. (where all this author’s novels are set), is attempting to make a living as a private detective, but he’s also tending bar to make ends meet. He’s a talented salesman and he spends a lot of time selling himself to possible clients, to potential employers, and to women. At the moment, he’s looking into the apparent murder of a friend — though even a third of the way into the book, he (and the reader) have still learned almost nothing. And he has also taken on the search for the adulterous wife of an old friend from high school, two decades before, who left him and apparently stole a large amount of money from her lover as well.

The thing is, Nick spends a great deal of time reminiscing in extreme detail about his early life, about the people his grandfather used to hang out with, about the bad decisions he made when he was young, and about a number of other things that have vey little relevance to the story. Frankly, I got tired of waiting for something to actually happen and I gave up before I reached the halfway point. I don’t often do that, but Pelecanos went way off the rails this time.

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Published in: on 11 January 2017 at 6:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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