Our list of some of the best George Pelecanos books & series in recent years. Get inspired by one or more of the following books.
1. The Man Who Came Uptown (2019)
In bestselling and Emmy-nominated writer George Pelecanos’ “taut and suspenseful” new novel, an ex-offender must choose between the man who got him out and the woman who showed him another path (Booklist, Starred Review)Michael Hudson spends the long days in prison devouring books given to him by the prison’s librarian, a young woman named Anna who develops a soft spot for her best student. Anna keeps passing Michael books until one day he disappears, suddenly released after a private detective manipulated a witness in Michael’s trial. Outside, Michael encounters a…
2. The Big Blowdown (1999)
For Joey Recevo and Pete Karras, two kids from one of Washington’s rougher neighborhoods, the easiest work to find after the War is all criminal—providing a little muscle for a local boss. But Karris is soft on his fellow immigrants, and the boss can’t let his mob get soft, so one of his boys gives Karras a painful lesson. Three years later, it’s the same mob that figures big Nick Stefanos’s grill needs protection—and this decision will once again bring Joey and Pete face-to-face. In this final confrontation, the two of them will find the meaning of friendship, the heart of honor,…
3. The Double (Spero Lucas) (2014)
“THE DOUBLE is as good as it gets. The writing is taut, the violence is graphic, and the characters are so well-drawn that they step off the page and into your life.” – Associated PressEvery man has his dark side. Spero Lucas confronts his own in the most explosive thriller yet from one of America’s best-loved crime writers. The job seems simple enough: retrieve the valuable painting-“The Double”-Grace Kinkaid’s ex-boyfriend stole from her. It’s the sort of thing Spero Lucas specializes in: finding what’s missing, and doing it quietly. But Grace wants more. She wants Lucas to find…
4. A Firing Offense (2011)
As the advertising director of Nutty Nathan’s, Nick Stefanos knows all the tricks of the electronics business. Blow-out sales and shady deals were his life. When one of the stockboys disappears, it’s not news: just another metalhead who went off chasing some dream of big money and easy living. But the kid reminded Nick of himself twelve years ago: an angry punk hooked on speed metal and the fast life. So when the boy’s grandfather begs Nick to find the kid, Nick says he’ll try. A Firing Offense, Nick Stefanos’ debut, shows why, as Barry Gifford puts it, “To miss out on Pelecanos would be criminal.”…
5. The Way Home (Back Bay Readers’ Pick) (2011)
Christopher Flynn is trying to get it right. After years of trouble and rebellion that enraged his father and nearly cost him his life, he has a steady job in his father’s company, he’s seriously dating a woman he respects, and, aside from the distrust that lingers in his father’s eyes, his mistakes are firmly in the past.One day on the job, Chris and his partner come across a temptation almost too big to resist. Chris does the right thing, but old habits and instincts rise to the surface, threatening this new-found stability with sudden treachery and violence. With…
In this epic showdown from “one of the best crime novelists alive” (Dennis Lehane), police officer Derek Strange hunts his brother’s killer through a city erupting with rage….
7. The Sweet Forever: A Novel (2013)
A bold, brilliant tale of mystery, revenge, and survival in the 1980s, when cocaine and money ruled the city streets and even the good guys wanted a piece of the action. It’s March madness and the college boys are playing basketball on TV. But on the streets of D.C., the homeboys are dealing, dissing, dying. From behind plate glass, with an 80s backbeat pounding in his brain, Marcus Clay watches it all happen, and prays that he can make a go with his downtown record store. Then a car comes careening down U Street, and what Marcus sees next will plunge him into the middle of a…
8. The Cut (Spero Lucas) (2012)
Spero Lucas has a new line of work. Since he returned home to Washington, D.C. after serving in Iraq, he has been doing special investigations for a defense attorney. He’s good at it, and he has carved out a niche: recovering stolen property, no questions asked. His cut is forty percent. A high-profile crime boss who has heard of Lucas’s specialty hires him to find out who has been stealing from his operation. It’s the biggest job Spero has ever been offered, and he quickly gets a sense of what’s going on. But before he can close in on what’s…
Derek Strange is black and successful. Terry Quinn is white and barely holding on. Now Strange has been hired to investigate a police shooting in which Quinn played a major role. For Strange, a savvy and careful man, the investigation goes against his style and instinct. For Terry Quinn, Strange’s questions are a chance to absolve his conscience and shake out a little truth. But in a city that lives in the shadow of a nation’s dream, neither man can foresee the dirty little war that will break out around them…or how deadly being right can be.The…
10. Drama City (2013)
Lorenzo Brown loves his work. In his job as an officer for the Humane Society, he cruises the city streets, looking for dogs that are being mistreated – underfed, unclean, trained to kill. He takes pride in making their lives better. And that pride helps Lorenzo resist the pull of easier money doing the kind of work that got him a recent prison bid. Rachel Lopez loves her work, too. By day she is a parole officer, helping people – Lorenzo Brown among them – along a path to responsibility and advancement. At night she heads for the city’s hotel bars, where she can always find a man who will let her act out her damage….
11. Nick’s Trip (2011)
Nick Stefanos has given up his job in sales to tend bar at the Spot, where drinks and women are both a bit too easily available, and the routine is starting to feel as dead-end as his last gig. But things are about to change. First, his high-school friend Billy Goodrich asks him to find his wife April, who he says left him for small-time crime boss Joey DiGeordano. In fact, April has taken off with hog farmer/bondage freak Tommy Crane and, it turns out, with $200,000 of DiGeordano family money. There are powerful enemies on her trail — and now on Nick’s trail, too….
12. Shoedog (2013)
Like the kind of cars they don’t make anymore and the kind of songs they don’t sing, the novels of George Pelecanos have the style, rhythm and muscle of classics. SHOEDOG is vintage Pelecanos: a tale that throbs with soul and pulsates with menace.Constantine was born in D.C., and has been traveling the world ever since-finding everything but a home. Randolph has stayed in this city every day, selling shoes in a downtown store, taking care of ladies who lie about their sizes and sometimes fit him into their beds. Now these two strangers, one white, one black, have come together in a criminal’s audacious plan. With five partners and the…
Private Investigator Derek Strange and his partner, Terry Quinn, are running a detective business in the seedy underbelly of Washington, DC when they are approached by a young man asking them to find his girlfriend who has gone missing. And so Strange and Quinn find her.Just another day? Not quite. In the grimy underworld inhabited by Strange, nothing is that simple. For Strange and Quinn’s efforts have led to a young mother being brutally murdered–a devastating discovery that causes them both to question the morality by which they live. And yet at the same time they need to continue the search for another missing girl, a teenage…
14. The Turnaround (2009)
On a hot summer afternoon in 1972, three teenagers drove into an unfamiliar neighborhood and six lives were altered forever.Thirty five years later, one survivor of that day reaches out to another, opening a door that could lead to salvation. But another survivor is now out of prison, looking for reparation in any form he can find it.THE TURNAROUND takes us on a journey from the rock-and-soul streets of the ’70s to the changing neighborhoods of D.C. today, from the diners and auto garages of the city to the inside of Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital, where wounded men and…
Best George Pelecanos Books That You Need
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Author(s): George Pelecanos
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, Year: 2011, Size: 332 Kb, Download: epub
The wire. / The complete series. Season 1
Author(s): Nina Kostroff-Noble; David Simon; George P Pelecanos; Edward Burns; Clark Johnson; All authors
Publisher: , Year: 1999, Size: 103 Kb, Download: pdf
Author(s): George Pelecanos
Publisher: , Year: , Size: 298 Kb, Download: epub
The Way Home
Author(s): George Pelecanos
Publisher: , Year: , Size: 251 Kb, Download: epub
The Night Gardener
Author(s): George P. Pelecanos
Publisher: , Year: , Size: 821 Kb, Download: pdf
Please note that this booklist is not definite. Some books are really hot items according to Chicago Tribune, others are written by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant books you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.