What It Was by George Pelecanos

What It Was

By George Pelecanos

  • Publication Date: 2012-01-23
  • Genre: Mysteries & Thrillers
3.5 Score: 3.5 (From 227 Ratings)

Book Synopsis

Washington, D.C., 1972. Derek Strange has left the police department and set up shop as a private investigator. His former partner, Frank "Hound Dog" Vaughn, is still on the force. When a young woman comes to Strange asking for his help recovering a cheap ring she claims has sentimental value, the case leads him onto Vaughn's turf, where a local drug addict's been murdered, shot point-blank in his apartment. Soon both men are on the trail of a ruthless killer: Red Fury, so called for his looks and the car his girlfriend drives, but a name that fits his personality all too well. Red Fury doesn't have a retirement plan, as Vaughn points out - he doesn't care who he has to cross, or kill, to get what he wants. As the violence escalates and the stakes get higher, Strange and Vaughn know the only way to catch their man is to do it their own way.

Rich with details of place and time - the cars, the music, the clothes - and fueled by non-stop action, this is Pelecanos writing in the hard-boiled noir style that won him his earliest fans and placed him firmly in the ranks of the top crime writers in America.

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Latest User Reviews

  • Solid cops & robbers story

    By Kidd$$$
    Nothing super original pertaining to the story line. Very detailed and many parallels to the storytelling like The Wire on HBO. Enjoyable read if you like 70's era theme, detailed character development and slick dialogue.
  • Really good read

    By howelldc
    Read about this book in Men's Journal and downloaded it...really good book, very true to the 1970s vibe...would be a good movie...
  • Cars and music got little old

    By BCady
    Ok, I get it. Novel based in the 70's. I don't need reminded of the music and cars of the time at the beginning of each scene. Got old after awhile.
  • Great Read

    By bgchez
    I really enjoyed this book...fun to relive the 70's, and a good engaging story. I'm reading more of this author!
  • Great Read

    By sjsla
    This is a great read. The story is tight and swift. The characters are all memorable. This is one of Pelecanos' best. He should continue to write shorter fiction as this.
  • What It Was is enjoyable

    By rehsawg
    A laid back easy read with interesting characters and an oblique take on the lesser known residents of our captial city.
  • great !

    By Racersmit
    This book really captures the 70's. It made the music, the cars, the clothes and the social issues come alive again. You gotta love it!
  • The Cut

    By supreme allied commander
    Dead on language, voice, dress, and music of early 70's DC streets. Put on Mayfield vinyl, sip JW Black, and turn the pages while Pelecanos drives you through his town in a 71 Plymouth Fury with dual exhaust.
  • Meh

    By PDXN
    Sure glad it was 99 cents.
  • It's ok

    By John nick Neslon
    It's great