Monday, June 22, 2009

Review & Giveaway: The Night Gardener by George Pelicanos



From the back cover:

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.

My Thoughts:

The number of characters in this book is almost overwhelming but the three cops are the main focus of the book. Pelecanos delves deeply into the lives of these three and how their being a cop defined them. I liked the way Pelecanos set up the scenario with the introduction of the characters right at the first crime scene. The book then fast forwards 20 years and we see where the characters' lives have taken them and how they intersect at the new crime investigation.

The book flows at an even but somewhat leisurely pace, almost mirroring a real investigation, as pieces of the puzzle are fit into place and then another one and so on. Pelecanos also gives the reader an indepth look at the personal lives of the three men and the interactions with their families. I think this is one factor that gives the book such authenticity. Although there is no dramatic denoument at the finale, the end is almost a reiteration of the beginning. Pelecanos takes the reader back to the original crime scene, but this time we see who the murderer is. Interesting treatment of a crime and the ensuing investigation.

Since I had never read any of Pelecanos' books before, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was very pleased to see how Pelecanos let the reader into the heads of the characters. The supporting characters are fully fleshed out giving the book a very believable feel. His masterful use of local dialect gives an extra dose of reality. Even though the book is more police procedural and character study than a traditional mystery, this book held my attention to the end. 4****

For Author's website see here.

Now for the GIVEAWAY. Hachette is so generous in allowing me to give away 5 copies of the book. Only US and Canada, please and no P.O. boxes.
4 Copies selected by random.org and 1 copy to INSTANT WINNER. This has been won by Serena of Savvy Verse and Wit.
July 2nd at 5 PM is the deadline to enter. Good luck!

For your official entry: leave a comment with your e mail contact, please.

For 3 bonus entries: become a public follower. Friends Google connect. Already one? That counts!

For 1 more bonus entry: put link to contest in your sidebar.


Aaron, Aidan, Alberto, Alden, Alfredo, Alfred, Alphonse, Alonso, Alvin, Angus, Angelo, Archer, Andre, Armand, Arnold, Arturo, Aubrey, Augustus, Austin, Ambrose, Avery, Antoine, or Antonoio

***Please, I beg you, only one (1) comment box is necessary, just leave a little space between your answer and your bonus entry comments. Also be sure to leave an e mail address so I can contact you when you win!

A big thank you to Valerie at Hatchette Book Group for a review copy of this book.

42 comments:

  1. allison DOT campbell AT gmail DOT com

    I am already a follower.

    Hmmm...I love the instant win contest! I'm going with Adrian.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Don't enter me - I read this book years ago and really enjoyed it. Glad you did too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. ammieloris(at)hotmail(dot)com

    I am a follower.

    I am gonna guess Anthony. Thanks for the fun giveaways! I love mysteries... books, giveaways, what we're gonna do today, you name it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Count me in...

    I am a follower.

    I like the name Atwater...

    cyeates AT nycap DOT rr DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've been wantting to try this author and this is the perfect opportunity! Thanks :)
    stacybooks at yahoo

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'd love to read this book. Thanks for the chance.
    pbclark(at)netintins(dot)net
    I guess Antonio
    Angelo
    Arnold

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm in!!
    lisamos64@gmail.com
    I'm also following you!
    My guess is: Ambrose, then Andre, then Augustus.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I would love to win this one Kaye.
    joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

    I think I will guess Alvin for Pudgy...if Alvin can be a chipmunk he can also be a penguin!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The contest has been added to my sidebar.
    joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Nice review :) This one sounds scary. I am a follower.
    TheChicGeek(AT)msn(DOT)com
    I will go with Adrian :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Just posted on Win A Book for you, Kaye!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Looks like a good read, please enter me into this drawing.

    I'm also a recent follower of your blog.

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway.
    jake.lsewhere[at]gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I guess Aidan, Aubrey or Alvin

    lavery328 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'd love a chance to win

    lelou2@ymail.com


    My guesses are:
    Ambrose
    Augustus
    Andre

    ReplyDelete
  16. This sounds like a really interesting book.

    I'm going to guess Armand, Aaron or Avery.

    winterset @ peoplepc.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've read this book (no need to enter me); i really enjoyed it too.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This looks great! Please enter me!

    I'm a follower.

    BookcrossingKitten22 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'd love to enter!

    kamijisatsu@gmail.com

    Became a follower via Googls.

    Link on my sidebar at http://ninthfactor.org

    ReplyDelete
  20. Please enter me! My email is in my profile. My guesses for Pudgy's name are:

    Armond
    Augustus
    Antonio

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh, two more chances to guess Pudgy's name: Augustus and Avery.

    cyeates AT nycap DOT rr DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Please include me, thanks!
    dag888888[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I subscribe via google reader!

    ReplyDelete
  24. My pick is Angus. Angus reminds me of a side of beef, but I guess it could be a penguin name too.
    How about Pookie the penguin? I like aliteration (think that's the term and sp?)

    I follow you also.

    ReplyDelete
  25. i like a good mystery
    spvaughan @ yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I would love to win this book!

    My guess is Arturo.

    I'm a follower.

    Carol M
    mittens0831 At aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. My second guess is Arnold.

    Carol M
    mittens0831 AT aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. How about Aaron.

    Carol M
    mittens0831 AT aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. A question? Since Atwater was not on your list, may I change it to Archer? If not, ignore this post. Thank you!!

    cyeates AT nycap DOT rr DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thanks for the extra guesses! I wanted to guess Alfred and Avery, and will stick with them, even though I know a few awesome Augustuses! (I see I'm a little late on the revote. Oh well! This is so fun anyway!)

    ReplyDelete
  31. I see these posters on the subway all the time for this author. This books sounds like a great one.

    I'd love to give it a shot.

    I follow you in google reader.

    I'll pop the giveaway information in my sidebar for you.

    Here's my three guesses for the instant win:

    Alberto, Alden, Alphonse,

    savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  32. Please include me, thanks!
    delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Archer for sure!

    I'm a follower


    stacijoreads@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. Sounds like a great book ~ please enter me in your giveaway!
    Thanks so much=)

    Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'd love to win this book. The author is a great favourite of mine. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  36. please enter me in the book giveaway con5459(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  37. Please enter me.
    hawkes (at) citlink.net

    I'm a NEW follower

    ReplyDelete
  38. Please enter me and I am a new follower.
    Laura
    laura.leahj@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. I'd like to drop my name in the virtual hat - thanks for the giveaway.

    glenn_pessano AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  40. I would absolutely love to win this
    awesome giveaway, many thanks for
    a chance to win.

    ReplyDelete

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