Title: The Night Gardener
Author: George Pelecanos
Website of Author: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/features/georgepelecanos
Website of Publisher:
Genre: Suspense /Thriller /Crime
Publication date: Hardcover August 2006, Paperback June 2009
Length: Paperback 372 pages
Format: Paperback / Hardcover / eBook / Audio-book
Reviewer: Lucille P Robinson
A story of two young police rookies and an aging detective who connect at a crime scene. Apparently,
a serial killer chooses victims whose names are spelled the same backwards as forwards and leaves
them in the community garden to be found later.
The story opens with the aging Detective T.C. Cook studying a crime scene. Police officers, Gus
Ramone and Dan Holliday, stand at the crime scene tape to keep out the curious. Time jumps ahead
to a place where Detective Cook has retired without having found the murderer dubbed as The Night
Gardener, Dan Holliday has quit the force, and Gus Ramone becomes the principle character.
We follow Detective Ramone as he works a crime similar to those performed by The Night Gardener.
While Detective Ramone and his partner, Detective Rhonda Willis, investigate the murder, Ramone
seeks out retired Det. Cook and Dan Holliday for consulting. Throughout the story, we follow
Ramone home and become involved with his family life. We get glimpses of what the low-life
criminals do and how they actually work against each other. One might say we get everything in this
novel: the good, the bad and the ugly.
The novel ends with the same scene that opens the story with final prose giving us a glimpse of what's
likely happening around the city at that moment much like the end of a movie would. Since my favorite
genre is crime and suspense novels, I can't find fault with this one. Pelecanos did a good job, writing
this novel much like a movie is put together.
We get scenes from both the detectives' side and the criminals' side. I found T.C. Cook a cop after my
own heart in that he couldn't give up hoping that one day the murderer of those young people would
meet justice and even after his retirement he continued to search for the killer. Dan "Doc"
seemed to be a weak character; one many people have no patience to deal with, yet he takes over
Cook's life pursuit of searching for the killer even though he keeps his chauffeur business open. Gus
Ramone is like any father who tries to do the best he can with job and family. Overall, a great read.
George Pelecanos is the author of several highly acclaimed and bestselling novels, including, most recently, The Turnaround and The Way Home. He is also an independent film producer, and essayist, the recipient of numerous international writing awards, and an Emmy-nominated writer-producer for the HBO hit series The Wire. Pelecanos lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife and three children. He is at work on his next novel.