by Sukey HowardJune, 2003
Another strange case
Derek Strange doesn't banter with his partner, Terry Quinn, the way Spenser parries with Hawk, but they do mull over their very obvious differences as they work. They're both ex-cops, now PIs, but Derek is black, Quinn is white and 20 years his junior. They star again in Soul Circus, George P. Pelecanos's new, finely crafted tale of dire doings and dealers in the Southeast section of Washington, D.C.
Strange and Quinn have been hired by a hotshot defense team representing a crime lord involved in a big-time drug business and over a dozen murders. When they find a young woman whose testimony could swing the verdict, they find that keeping her safe may cost them more than they want to pay. Pelecanos sets the scene in Southeast with uncanny accuracy and lets Derek Strange ponder social problems and inequities as he goes after the bad guys. You'll hear the real voices of those mean streets in Richard Allen's flawless reading.