Little, Brown; Feb 2001; 24.95; 336 pp.
In Washington DC, Caucasian cop Terry Quinn sees a black man holding down a white man to the ground. Terry tells the individual to put down his gun, but instead the culprit points the weapon at the police officer. Terry reacts and kills the assailant. It surfaces later that the dead man was a cop in civilian clothes and the person he held to the ground claimed police brutality.
Following that incident, terry quits the force to work at a bookstore, the ?injured? party receives a huge settlement from the city, and the dead officer's reputation is shredded. Mrs. Wilson wants to clear her son's name, so she hires Derek Strange, a former police officer turned private detective. After investigating the case and meeting with Terry, Strange surprisingly likes the man. Both share a desire to learn why Officer Chris Weston was drunk an in an uncharacteristically killing rage.
No writer today does urban noir crime fiction as well as George R. Pelecanos does. He always tells quite a good story while smoothly weaving social commentary into the plot. The realistic charcaters are likable even if they do not appear anything like the boy next door. RIGHT AS RAIN is an urban suspense thriller that that showcases the author's immense talent.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner