Night Gardener by George Pelecanos
When the body of a local teenager is found in a community garden, detective Gus Ramone relives intense memories of a twenty-year old case. Back when he was a rookie, Ramone and his partner “Doc” Holiday assisted legendary detective T.C. Cook in the investigation of a series of murders involving young victims. The killer, dubbed the “Night Gardener”, was never caught.
The fierce sense of anger, regret, and purpose that once burned among these three men comes rushing back as they race to vanquish the monster who has stalked their dreams. For Cook, now retired, it means solving one of the few cases that eluded him. For Holiday, whose career as a cop was derailed, it’s one last chance to redeem himself. For Ramone, catching the killer means not only doing his job but knowing that his own teenage son, who is a friend of the dead boy, won’t be the next victim.
This was my first Pelecanos book and I really found that he knows how to create characters. Not only were the characters vivid, life like people who you could picture living in your neighborhood, but Pelecanos created great backgrounds for them as well – so you didn’t just know them as they were today – but how they used to be as well as their families. As each important character unfolded, I felt I really had a clear picture of who they were, well, as clean as you can have in a murder mystery…. (just when you think you know someone…)
The story line revolves around a 20 year old murder case and the three cops who were involved. This book brings the three back to together on a current murder case that seems to have the same feel as the one from all those years ago that never was solved. While the story line was great – I found it took a long time for the three police to get together. Almost two thirds of the way through the book.
I enjoyed Gus Ramone’s character and family. As a central character he made the book for me. I enjoyed his scenes with his family and his dealings with his children and the troubles at school.
The ending – without giving anything away. Is well done and I applaud Pelecanos for this writing. I was pleased to find that the book ended with a great closing that sometimes, often times, is missed in many good reads.
A great book for the fans of crime and action stories.
*Note – strong language in some parts of the book
Don’t forget there is a giveway offer for 5 copies of this book! Contest is listed here: Giveaway for The Night Gardener. This giveaway ends the 30th of June so sign up today! :)