WHAT IT WAS By George Pelecanos

George Pelecanos sets What It Was back in the 1970s. A psychopathic killer who calls himself Red Fury is on a rampage. When Fury steals the heroin that belonged to the Mafia, a couple contract killers are sent out to deal with the problem. Homicide Detective Frank Vaughn is also on the trail of Red Fury. Vaughn finds former cop, Derek Strange, involved in the case, too. If you’ve read any of Pelecanos’ work, you know that the writing is tight, the plot is supercharged, and the violence is graphic. I’ve enjoyed all the Pelecanos novels I’ve read. GRADE: B+

7 thoughts on “WHAT IT WAS By George Pelecanos

  1. Jeff Meyerson

    I was jsut looking at this one in the library as I’ve read other Strange books. I’m sure I’ll get around to it soon, especially as it has the added benefit of being relatively short.

  2. Richard R.

    That’s my problem with Pelecanos: graphic violence, over the top drugs and drug usage, and language that seems to rely on four letter words way too frequently. I put down the last one I tried (which was several of his books back) and vowed not to buy or read him any more. So, no thanks!

    1. george Post author

      All those aspects that you don’t like–graphic violence, drugs, alcohol, four-letter words–make up much of this novel, Rick. I can take this kind of urban drama in small doses.

  3. Steve Lewis

    I sat down to read this one a couple of weeks ago, got half way through, set it down, and I’ve never picked it back up. My impression was Pelecanos was trying too hard to be hard and tough and street literate. End of my review, which I never wrote, until now!


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