For Joey Recevo and Pete Karras, two kids from one of Washington's rougher neighborhoods, the easiest work to find after the War is all criminal---providing a little muscle for a local boss. But Karris is soft on his fellow immigrants, and the boss can't let his mob get soft, so one of his boys gives Karras a painful lesson.
Three years later, it's the same mob that figures big Nick Stefanos's grill needs protection---and this decision will once again bring Joey and Pete face-to-face. In this final confrontation, the two of them will find the meaning of friendship, the heart of honor, and the cost of both.
Powerfully told, elegantly wrought, The Big Blowdown is a knockout.
""He is among the finest ten or twelve novelists working in the U.S. today. . . . [a] Balzacian figure so intent upon rendering this nation's whole ramshackle, impossible urban life over the past half-century.""
---James Sallis, from his introduction
""Pelecanos writes hard-boiled prose full of music and pain, like he just might be in charge of saving his characters' souls. The Big Blowdown is his `Once Upon a Time in D.C.'---a big book with drive and savagery, and elegance too.""
---Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn
""A charged page-turner . . . With stylistic panache and forceful conviction, Pelecanos delivers a darkly powerful story of the American city.""
---Publishers Weekly [starred review]
""Pelecanos's books get into your blood like a shot and a beer after a third shift. Definitely my favorite writer working today.""
---Peter Farrelly, author of Outside Providence
""A snazzy Lincoln Zephyr of a novel.""
---Les Whitten, Washington Post Book World
""Bold and broad-shouldered, a crime epic filled with passionate characters and the gritty life of the street. . . . Pelecanos lifted me from my chair and hurled me right into the mean D.C. streets of the 1950s. Bravo!""
---T. Jefferson Parker, author of The Blue Hour
""One of those writers whose books I would never miss.""
---Harlan Ellison, author of Mephisto in Onyx
""To miss out on Pelecanos would be criminal.""
---Barry Gifford, author of Wild at Heart