978-0-312-08862-0 / 0312088620

Nick's Trip (A Nick Stefanos Mystery)

by Pelecanos, George P.

Publisher:St Martins Pr



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About the book:

The private eye business is in a slump, and Nick Stefanos is keeping bar. It stops him drinking while at work, and gives him time to ask about the stabbing of a gay reporter. When a request to find a missing wife comes from an old friend, and we are promptly sidetracked into flashback city with an account of a speed-and-booze fuelled teenage jaunt around the Southland, it is clear that this is one of those elegies for friendship that are part of the Chandler tradition. Things are going to end badly, and they do; along the way, though, Pelecanos introduces us to some jauntily rough-edged characters and Nick applies intelligence, sensitivity and legwork to the puzzles before him. The picture of the slums of Washington DC and of the seedy roadhouses and country bars through which Nick chases the missing April is the right downbeat stuff. What stops this being just a good routine private-eye mystery, though, is Nick; it is partly his endlessly surprising back story and partly the extent to which he is a man on the skids, still not quite accepting that he cannot stay young and uncontrolled forever. --Roz Kaveney

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