Constantine is a burned-out loner whos searching for something hell never find. Leaving his Washington, D.C., home at age 17 to join the Marines, Constantine has circled the globe, traveling light, sleeping in fleabags and flophouses, working ...
every kind of odd job from slinging hash to cleaning toilets. Back in the U.S. after years of roaming, Constantine hitches a ride with Polk, an old geezer headed for Florida. But theres one stop Polk needs to make, and it turns out to be a stop that changes Constantines life forever. Grimes, an old army buddy of Polks, offers the two men big bucks if theyll rob a liquor storean easy, quick, in-and-out holdup. But things go badly wrong, and in the aftermath of the violence come tragedy and death. In the best tradition of hard-boiled fiction, Pelecanos haunting, gritty story works its way deep into his readers collective psyches, simultaneously shocking, attracting, and repelling us with its unvarnished, unbeautiful realism and its explosive, violence.