Sixteen stories of capital crimes and misdemeanors—the basis for the film directed by George Pelecanos, producer and writer of The Wire.
Mystery sensation Pelecanos pens the lead story and edits this groundbreaking collection of stories detailing the seedy underside of the nation’s capital. This is not an anthology of ill-conceived and inauthentic political thrillers. Instead, in D.C. Noir, pimps, whores, gangsters, and con-men run rampant in zones of this city that most never hear about.
This anthology includes brand new stories by George Pelecanos, James Grady, Kenji Jasper, Jim Beane, Jabari Asim, Ruben Castaneda, James Patton, Norman Kelley, Jennifer Howard, Richard Currey, Lester Irby, and others.
“[Grady’s] ‘The Bottom Line’ is a tour de force of narrative bravado. A story of double-dealing on Capitol Hill, it crams enough plot to power a full-length novel into a mere 30 pages. From its opening sentence—‘The Capitol building glowed in the night like a white icing cake’—to the surprises at its finish line, this is a story that never stops barreling along.”—The Washington Post
“Pelecanos . . . delivers a wholly satisfying volume. From his own ‘Confidential Informant,’ to James Grady’s ‘The Bottom Line,’ Pelecanos shows us how both trash-strewn alleys and oak-paneled offices can trap their occupants with dreams, compromise, and heartbreak.”—Booklist
“Well written . . . Highlights include Pelecanos’s ‘The Confidential Informant’ and Laura Lippman’s ‘A.R.M. and the Woman.’”—Publishers Weekly
While only a few of the contributors, such as editor Pelecanos, will be familiar to most readers, every story in this all-original noir anthology set in the nation's capital is well written, even if each captures the cynicism and despair of classic noir with varying success. Highlights include Pelecanos's "The Confidential Informant" and Laura Lippman's "A.R.M. and the Woman," though these could have been set elsewhere with little change to characters or plot. Jim Fusilli's "The Dupe," a contemporary political tale of betrayal, best makes use of the Washington setting. Despite Pelecanos's claim in his introduction that it's too easy to call the city polarized, rarely do the paths of the haves and the have-nots cross in these 16 tales, 10 of which have their crimes occur in the prosperous Northwest section of D.C.