By: George Pelecanos
(Hardcover / 400 Pages / Little Brown & Company / ISBN: 0316608971 / $24.95)
Description: 'Hard Revolution' is a rich, dramatic, totally engrossing story of two brothers - one a rookie police officer, one a recently returned Vietnam veteran - caught up in the chaos that engulfed D.C. in 1968, when riots followed the assassination of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Derek Strange is his family's straight arrow, but his older brother Dennis has always had a harder time. Home from the war and in several varieties of trouble, Dennis is in danger of making one bad decision too many. While Derek tries to be there for Dennis, no amount of brotherly love can save Dennis from Alvin Jones, a local drug dealer who draws him into his web.
Verdict: George Pelcanos is flat out the best mystery writer working today and one of the best writers period. Just when fans may have been worrying that he would start coasting with his Derek Strange series, Pelecanos digs deep and writes his most complete and compelling novel to date. Pelecanos packs more characterization and intensity into one paragraph than most bestselling authors provide in an entire book, so be prepared. This is the back story of Derek Strange, set against the 1968 riots in DC. If you haven't read any of the three previous books in the series you may still find this book enjoyable, but will be getting only half the story. One minor criticism, the first 70 pages or so contain an inordinate number of mood-setting music references, even for a Pelecanos book. Read all of Pelecanos, but you may not want to start here.
Reviewed by CJ Masters