The Night Gardener Review
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The Night Gardener takes place in the streets of Washington D.C. When the body of a teenager is found in a community garden, three police officers who once worked together—one current, one retired, and one who left the force—find striking similarities to a 20-year-old unsolved murder. Each cop has reasons for wanting to reopen the investigation, and the three are drawn together to track down a killer dubbed “The Night Gardner,” whose victims are found in community gardens.

The difference between this crime drama and others is that author George Pelecanos takes us further into the lives of the police—into their heads, their homes, and the lives of their children. It’s a more “worldly” police drama, something like a good crime drama on TV that you watch because you become intimately involved with the characters and somehow become attached to each of them, albeit in different ways. It’s a long book, but I had to finish it; I wanted to finish it because I needed to find out how it all turned out.

The novel is rife with street talk and cop talk—language familiar to those who live it. It can be a little difficult to understand some things if you don’t talk the talk. But don’t let that stop you; eventually you’ll start to understand. The plot is carefully crafted, as are the characters. The story is tense, subject to blow at anytime. It’s a great read that reminds readers that things aren’t always what they seem.

The Night Gardner makes its debut on August 8. If you don’t pick it up then, be sure to put it on your Christmas list—to give or to get.

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