From: Graham Powell ( bleekerbooks@hotmail.com)
Date: 21 May 2003

I just finished SOUL CIRCUS last night, and I thought it was pretty good, my favorite of the three Strange/Quinn books. There's a few preachy stretches, but generally Pelecanos shows you the results of gun violence instead of telling you how bad it is.

I haven't enjoyed this series as much as his earlier work, though, and I think I've finally figured out why. The "heroes" in Pelecanos' earlier works were sometime irresponsible (as we all are), whether it was getting drunk at a bad time, cheating on their wives/girlfriends, picking fights they couldn't win, etc. But as the DC Quartet went along, the upright
(though not uptight) Marcus Clay sort of won the battle with Dmitri Karras, convincing him to give up all that.

One that Pelecanos still does as well as he ever did is write bad guys. All the characters come across as real people, never as stock villains. And he still writes with the same convincing authority that he always has. I just sort of hope he writes more about his misspent youth than his sober middle age.

------------------ http://www.BleekerBooks.com

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