Monday, June 01, 2009

Book Review: The Way Home by George Pelecanos

The Way Home is another excellent Pelecanos book. The only *bad* thing about a Pelecanos book is I get hooked and finish these in a couple days and I have to wait for the next one ;)

The Way Home is much less violent than past books. It is about the relationship between a father and son and how it is possible to change over time and earn a second chance.

A little tease because I do not want to spoil the book. Chris Flynn and his friend Ben are working for Chris’s father’s carpet business. One day, Chris and Ben come across $50,000 stashed in a gym bag after removing a cut out floor board while installing a carpet in an empty house that’s for sale. They leave it there even though the temptation is to take it. Both have been in trouble before and they met in a juvenile detention center and are trying to go straight. Both figured someone put it there and someone would be back for it eventually and neither of them wanted to get mixed up in someone else's business. One night when drinking, Ben lets the secret out to another ex inmate Lawrence and……

This book found me rooting for the guys to succeed after they were released from the detention center. In this book and in past books, Pelecanos creates these people who resonate with the reader. They are people we feel we know or could know and that’s one of the things that he does that makes his books excellent reads.

A couple places, The Dancing Crab and Mitchell's Sporting Goods Store, were mentioned in The Way Home. I drank at Dancing Crab a lot back in my younger days. You could have called it my second home at times. I used to venture in to Mitchell's when I was a kid to check out gear. One thing I like about his books is how he mentions these places and I feel like I am a part of the story since I've lived in the DC area all my life and frequented some of these places. Just something I like and look forward to when I pick up one of his books.

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