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Hard Revolution
By George Pelecanos
Read by Lance Reddick

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Hard Revolution

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Hard Revolution
By George Pelecanos
Read by Lance Reddick
Time Warner AudioBooks, (2004)
An Abridged Audio Recording on 5 CDs
ISBN: 1-58621-601-5
Genre: Crime Fiction

Reviewed by Angela Evans - March 7, 2004

George Pelecanos has written a series of riveting novels that centers upon Derek Strange, a Washington, D.C. private investigator. In Hard Revolution, Pelecanos takes a step back to write about Strange's early life, before he became a hard worn P.I. Basically a prequel to Pelecanos' previous Strange novels, Hard Revolution finds a much younger Strange who is just beginning his career in law enforcement. In this powerful novel, Strange is a rookie cop, who must learn to balance his personal life with his professional life. Pelecanos also includes a great deal of back story in this novel, providing us with a glimpse of Strange's life in the Washington, D.C. of the late 1950's.

The main body of this novel is set in 1968. Working with a seasoned cop, Frank Vaughn, Strange helps to investigate a tragic hit and run accident. Strange's task is made more difficult because his fellow officers mistrust him because he is black, and the blacks see him as a traitor, siding with the white establishment. To make matters even worse, the city it about to erupt into violence on the heels of the heinous assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

Into this tumultuous mix, Strange's Vietnam Vet brother, Dennis, has become embroiled in a plot to commit a robbery. Dennis' slide from petty crime into major criminal activity is juxtaposed by a plot to rob a bank that is being plotted by a group of whites who have already committed a racially motivated murder. Racial tensions permeate this novel, and aptly mirror the events and intense feelings that were generated during this radical period in American history.

Read by Lance Reddick, this audio edition of Hard Revolution is unforgettable! Reddick, is a powerful narrator, and he brings the full force of his emotions and acting talent to the reading of this novel. Reddick has extensive acting experiences, having appeared on such TV shows as The West Wing and Law & Order, and in such movies as I Dreamed of Africa and The Siege.

Part police thriller and part social commentary, Hard Revolution is a masterful and compelling story that has a heart pounding ending that will leave you gasping. A must read!


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