In bestselling and Emmy-nominated writer George Pelecanos' novel, one of the best mysteries of 2018 (Publishers Weekly), an ex-offender must choose between the man who got him out and the woman who showed him another path.
Michael Hudson spends the long days in prison devouring books given to him by the prison's librarian, a young woman named Anna who develops a soft spot for her best student. Anna keeps passing Michael books until one day he disappears, suddenly released after a private detective manipulated a witness in Michael's trial.
Outside, Michael encounters a Washington, D.C. that has changed a lot during his time locked up. Once shady storefronts are now trendy beer gardens and flower shops. But what hasn't changed is the hard choice between the temptation of crime and doing what's right. Trying to balance his new job, his love of reading, and the debt he owes to the man who got him released, Michael struggles to figure out his place in this new world before he loses control.
Smart and fast-paced, The Man Who Came Uptown brings Washington, D.C. to life in a high-stakes story of tough choices.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A love letter to books and a thrilling neo-noir? That’s exactly what George Pelecanos gives us in his 21st novel, The Man Who Came Uptown. Ex-con Michael Hudson fell in love with books while in prison, giving him new hope in life. But his plan to go straight is hampered by a pair of private investigators determined to clean up the streets of Washington, DC, by any means necessary. Pelecanos, co-creator of TV’s The Deuce, creates compellingly flawed characters that leap off the page and serves up plenty of high-octane action as Hudson’s redemption quest quickly goes awry. We wanted to see Hudson succeed—and we also started a to-read list out of the books he mentions throughout his story.
Michael Hudson, the hero of this unforgettable novel of crime, redemption, and the transformative power of the written word from Edgar-finalist Pelecanos (The Double), awaits trial in a Washington, D.C., jail for armed robbery. Like many of his fellow inmates, Hudson has taken to reading as a way to pass the time. He looks forward to the books carefully chosen for him by jail librarian Anna Byrne, who leads regular book discussion groups. As Hudson devours novels, he begins to catch a glimpse of a larger world outside, one that he didn't realize was available to him. Meanwhile, Phil Orzanian, an investigator for Hudson's defense attorney, dissuades a witness from testifying, and Hudson is suddenly out free. Orzanian turns out to run a side business robbing drug dealers and other criminals of their ill-gotten gains, and he reminds Hudson of the debt the former inmate owes him. As the fates of Hudson, Orzanian, and Byrne collide, Pelecanos shows that doing the right thing isn't always the easiest option. Inspired by the author's own experience with prison literacy programs, this is the work of a master storyteller at the top of his game.