The Sweet Forever: A Novel by George Pelecanos
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A drug runner's car crashes outside of Marcus Clay's record store and someone steals a bag of money out of the back of the car as it burns. Will the stolen bag of money destroy all that Marcus Clay has worked to build?
The third book in George Peleanos' DC Quartet catches up with Dimitri Karras and Marcus Clay in the 1980s, years after the events of King Suckerman. Marcus now owns a chain of record stores and Dimitri owns an impressive cocaine habit. Complicating matters are a pair of crooked cops, a local crime lord named Tyrell Cleveland and his goons.
Tension slowly builds in this one as Karras sinks deeper into addiction, one of the crooked cops grows a conscience, and the stolen money seems to be the cause of all the troubles in the world. In addition to music, Basketball plays a big part in this book, notably Len Bias, who would die of a cocaine overdose after being drafted before ever playing for the Celtic, an event I remember from when I was a kid.
Nods to other works in the Pelecanos-verse abound, notably appearances by both Big Nick Stefanos and his grandson, Nick, who has just begun his self-destructive was.
Without giving away too much, this one ends with one of the best gunfights in crime fiction, right up there with Matthew Scudder and Mick Ballou taking down the bad guys in Everybody Dies. 4.5 stars.
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