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The Night Gardener    by George Pelecanos order for
Night Gardener
by George Pelecanos
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, CD

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The Night Gardener by prolific writer George Pelecanos is another in a long string of well-received novels. Full of suspense and action, well-paced, the story will satisfy anyone with a hankering for a really good thriller.

When a young boy's body is found in a community garden, Detective Gus Ramone is haunted by memories of three young people who were murdered twenty years previously. The most evident common factor is that their first names are palindromes, spelled the same way forward or backwards. Other men, no longer on the force, join with Ramone to ferret out the one responsible for taking so many lives. The Night Gardener is chockablock with emotion and the realities of life. The details of the investigative work are set out to allow the reader to become a part of that investigation.

I have to admit that some of the patois used both on the street and in the squad rooms left me confused at times, but I accepted the confusion because it was minor and the language simply made me feel I should get out more. I did have more difficulty with the many names that started with the same initial - R - including Ramone, Regina, Rhonda, Romero, and Romeo. But that did not keep me from enjoying a really fine piece of writing.

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