Re: RARA-AVIS: DC nonfiction

From: M Blumenthal (
Date: 11 Dec 2001

George Pelecanos:
> Mark Blumenthal asks about cops and the carry-rule in D.C. Yes, it's
> a requirement that cops carry their service weapons while off-duty. In
> SWEET FOREVER, Murphy does leave his gun in the glove box when he enters
> that bar. This was a deliberate tip-off to the reader that Murphy was
> cracking up. At that point in the novel, he is dealing with his
> by rejecting his role as a police officer; that is, he no longer thinks of
> himself as a "real" cop, so he doesn't feel the need to obey the rules.

George, It was clear to me because I happened to know this , by circumstance, but even Charlie Schaeffer, who worked in the field wrote,

" here's the gun rule as I know it. First, departments cannot make their cops carry guns off duty".

I wrote earlier you are not an easy author to read because you assume the reader will know what you do and don't feel the need to explain. Any reader who does not have that knowledge, is missing something you intended to impart. I am currently reading two books by Benjamin Schutz immediately after reading two of yours. Near the beginning of Mexico is Forever, detective, Leo Hagerty, is watching an NCAA basketball game. He briefly describes the game calling one team, Klang. In comparison find myself missing the texture of your books. I guess your approach could be called Joycean. Maybe some day you, or someone you commission, could put out reader's guides to your books so everybody could appreciate the significance of every detail.. Mark

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