Book Review: The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos

In this 13th novel, George Pelecanos returns to the gritty streets of Washington, D.C.—a far cry from Georgetown and Capitol Hill—at the top of his game. Critics agree that Night Gardener transcends the crime-novel genre. While it contains whodunit elements, it’s much more about crime, criminal motivation, and the souls of everyone involved. Authentic descriptions of Washington’s urban landscape, the compelling characters, and the story line’s immediacy make Night Gardener one of the author’s best to date. A few critics noted a meandering plot and stylistic quirks (the victims’ names are all palindromes), but most agreed that Night Gardener “is heart-in-your-throat gripping from beginning to end”

This was a bit of a return to the genre for me and the first book by this Author I have read. I felt a little bit out of my comfort when I first started reading simply because it has been a while since I have firmly looked into this genre. I used to read crime novels all the time.

Overall, I have to say I enjoyed the book. There was a large cast of characters and they were on occasion hard to keep straight, but for the most part, they were well explained. Some of them were likeable and several were not very likeable. That is a sign of a true to life book; you can never like everybody all the time.

Overall, the book is well rounded and well written. I wish I had read it when I first got it and did the giveaway. However, I got to it now and it was a great January book.

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