More Park View in Fiction

Nearly a year ago, I posted about the book D.C. Noir (2006), a book of short crime stories where each one is based in a particular Washington neighborhood. The lead story in that book is by Georgia Pelecanos and takes place in Park View.

Here’s another book by Pelecanos that should be of interest to readers who like crime stories, Drama City (2005).

Main character Lorenzo Brown is a street investigator for the Humane Society. Brown lives on the 700 block of Otis Place and much of the action takes place in this section of Park View or further up on Georgia Avenue. A few other locations are thrown in for good measure. Brown has recently completed an eight-year stretch in prison for narcotics and is determined to stay on the straight and narrow.

Rachel Lopez is Brown’s parole officer. Lopez has demons of her own. While she works her cases by day she spends her nights getting drunk and having sex with strangers.

The violence in the book is ignited from a mistake in territory between two drug lords at the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Morton, escalating into a series of revenge killings. The homicides ultimately touch the lives of Brown and Lopez before coming to an end.

As with D.C. Noir, Drama City portrays a darker side of Washington that is hidden to many while existing in plain sight.

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3 Comments on “More Park View in Fiction”

  1. Shawn Says:

    You could have also mentioned that he was heavily involved in the HBO show the Wire – I think that’s what he’s most known for, aside from his DC crime fiction.

  2. Dianne Chambers Says:

    Thanks for posting this! My husband and I are huge fans of Pelacanos and used to live in his neighborhood in Silver Spring. While his fiction takes place in DC, I have to say it is a version of the city that exists more in the past, than in the present. Violence still exists, but the fabric of our neighborshoods is changing.


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