Saturday, June 6, 2009

Book Club Report: The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos

I met with my new book club for the second time on May 27th to discuss The Night Gardener.

Short summary:
When a teen is found murdered in a Washingtion DC garden, it reminds veteran police officer Gus Ramone of a case he worked on as a rookie cop. Could the same killer, dubbed The Night Gardener, be on the loose again?

The group verdict:
The group is all women and we agreed that this novel seems more suited to men. Not only is there is grusome premise and a gritty setting, but the focus is on the male characters, the pages are full of men bragging about their sexual conquests in colorful language, and there is a primarily action driven plot.

We all expressed our frustration at the lack of real closure and the introduction of ancillary characters that had nothing to do with the main story. Perhaps they were there to show that the author has some familiarity with the DC criminal scene, but all the superfluous characters were just confusing to most of us.

I did enjoy the interogation scenes, and specifically that those being interogated always asked for the soft drink Slice and had to make due with Mountain Dew. I guess Slice is the criminal drink of choice in the DC area.

Up next:
Undecided. The next meeting is a movie night to watch Slumdog Millionaire.

13 comments:

Kate said...

Because of my XX chromosomes, I don't think I'd enjoy this book :)

Staci said...

I've got The Turnaround of his to read but if I like it I'll probably try his other books....Slumdog Millionaire...LOVED IT!! My son and I went to see it and raved about it!! Then I had to run right out and buy the book!!!

Doret said...

I haven't read this one but I love Pelecanos's writing. White Tiger is a great book, and its similar to Slumdog Millionare.

Lenore said...

Kate - That is not to say that women won't enjoy it. It just seems to be more of a man's book.

Staci - I've heard great things about his writing, so I would definitely try another book of his.

Doret - I do want to read White Tiger.

Nicole said...

I just finished The Turnaround by Pelecanos and it seems like ut was a bit different than this one. I really enjoyed it.

Dar said...

I'm doing a giveaway for this one but not reading it. I had a feeling it wasn't for me. I'm glad I didn't request it. The movie night sounds like a fun idea.

Yvonne said...

I'm getting this one soon for a review.

Belle said...

I haven't read any Pelecanos before; I think his books might be good if I'm in the mood for a darker, grittier read, but these days, I seem to really be going more for something different. I haven't seen Slumdog Millionaire yet but I have the book in my TBR pile. I've also been thinking about picking up Six Suspects, too!

Lenore said...

Nicole - I'm sure I'll give him another chance...someday!

Dar - I love movies adapted from books!

Yvonne - Hope you like it.

Belle - I don't mind darker reads, but maybe this one had a bit too much manly swagger for me?

Literary Feline said...

I enjoyed this book when I read it and want to read more by Pelecanos. I really liked the grittiness of it and the realism. I know what you mean about superfluous characters though--there were a few whose storyline I just didn't quite get in terms of the "bigger" picture.

Ladytink_534 said...

Maybe your group should try a cozy mystery next? Maybe a Joanne Fluke?

Zibilee said...

This doesn't sound like a book I would like, but my husband might enjoy it, so I will point him to this review.

Joanne said...

That's cool that you will be watching a book-movie for your book club meeting.