The Big Blowdown by George P. Pelecanos
Trade Paperback: 314 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition (first (September 24, 1999)
Pete Karras dreamed.
The Overview: Beware of Spoilers…
Peter Karras, Joe Recevo, Jimmy Boyle and Perry Angelos are four kids growing up together in Washington, D.C. in the 1930s. Their lives will separate and then come back together in ways none of them could imagine. Boyle will become a cop and Angelos an accountant. Karras and Recevo will become collectors for a loan shark named Burke.
When Burke becomes upset with Karras’ disrespectful attitude and unwillingness to come down hard on some families struggling to repay their high interest loans, Burke orders Recevo to betray Karras. Recevo sets up his childhood friend and lures him into an alley where another of Burke’s goons is waiting with a baseball bat. Karras is badly beaten and left to survive or not.
Karras, Recevo and Burke along with Jimmy Boyle and Perry Angelos will cross paths again in bloody confrontation that will leave many of them dead. Pelecanos creates a story that has layers and substance. None of his characters are without flaws. They come across as real people. The “good” guys don’t always win or survive. If you’ve read other of Pelecanos’ novels you may recognize some characters which adds to the realism of the universe he’s created.
The Big Blowdown is another winner from George P. Pelecanos. It rates 4 of 5 stars.