Soul Circus by George Pelecanos

Soul Circus

George Pelecanos

If you enjoy hard-boiled detective fiction this is the book for you, combining its dark urban realism with a moral dimension. It brilliantly brings to life the grim world of Washington's seedy underbelly, and highlights the bleak prospects for young Black people in a world of drugs and guns.


Two sentences, thought Strange. That's all a certain kind of kid in this town's gonna get to sum up his life. There would be more deaths, most likely retribution kills, related to this one. Later, the murder gun might turn up somewhere down the food chain. Later, the crime might get 'solved', pinned on the shooter by a snitch in a plea-out. Whatever happened, this would be the last the general public would hear about this young man, a passing mention to be filed away in a newspaper morgue, one brief paragraph without even a name attached to prove that he had existed. Another unidentified YBM, dead on the other side of the Anacostia River.

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