The Way Home by George Pelecanos
A HUGE THANK YOU to Miriam at Hachette Books for this review copy of The Way home.
I'll say first off that I have never read anything by Pelecanos before, and that this is not generally they type of book I would read. That being said it wasn't bad.
Here is the blurb from Amazon.ca:
Christopher Flynn is trying to get it right. After years of trouble and rebellion that enraged his father and nearly cost him his life, he has a steady job in his father's company, he's seriously dating a woman he respects, and, aside from the distrust that lingers in his father's eyes, his mistakes are firmly in the past.
One day on the job, Chris and his partner come across a temptation almost too big to resist. Chris does the right thing, but old habits and instincts rise to the surface, threatening this new-found stability with sudden treachery and violence. With his father and his most trusted friends, he takes one last chance to blast past the demons trying to pull him back.
Like Richard Price or William Kennedy, Pelecanos pushes his characters to the extremes, their redemption that much sweeter because it is so hard fought. Pelecanos has long been celebrated for his unerring ability to portray the conflicts men feel as they search and struggle for power and love in a world that is often harsh and unforgiving but can ultimately be filled with beauty.
To be honest, the big drawback about this book was the authors voice for characters. I felt that when I would read something one of Chris's buddies would say it was a bit over-the-top in terms of the slang and trying to sound like they were "from the hood", so to speak. It drove me nuts. One character that I DID like was Ben. He was a very real person, and well fleshed out, and the relationship between him and Chris was very believable. I like Chris too, and really felt the inner turmoil that was going on with him most of the time. I also liked Chris's parents a lot. Especially his Dad. And the marriage between him and Amanda was well imagined.
The story itself is good, and had me reading until the end (which is always a good sign), but since this is not my preferred genre I probably didn't enjoy it as much as someone who loved this type of book. For example I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to really gory crime stuff or disturbing thug-type material, at least since I became a mother, so parts of this one were uncomfortable for me.
All of that being said, if you are already a fan of Pelecanos's work you will probably really enjoy The Way Home. A good premise, a well thought out plot, and believable characters.