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Hell to Pay Mass Market Paperback – Mar 1 2003


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 1 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446611328
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446611329
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 16.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,403,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Customer Reviews

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By Sal Paradise on June 8 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed this second novel in the Derek Strange series. HELL TO PAY is an action novel from beginning to end with a great deal of substance in between. I didn't read any of the Derek Strange books in order. I read this novel after reading SOUL CIRCUS. I found out how Terry Quinn got that scar on his face from his run in with a seemingly larger than life pimp named Worldwide. The character Terry seems a lot more developed in this novel than in SOUL CIRCUS. This novel develops both characters personal lives such that they actually seem more like three dimensional characters. I've yet to read HARD REVOLUTION to find out the connection between Granville Oliver's father and Strange. Granville Oliver is the fictional drug kingpin introduced towards the end of this novel who figures more prominently in SOUL CIRCUS. I found this novel a joy to read it's a serial novel but newcomers to the series can pick up any of the Derek Strange novels and start from any point in the series.
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By Scott on April 19 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm not a big fan of crime fiction, but I had read some good reviews on this story in some Men's magazine and figured I'd pick it up. Thankfully I had the sense to borrow it form the library instead of purchasing it.
"Hell to Pay" was insanely boring. This would be the perfect novel to turn into a Steven Segall movie because it is already lacking a plot. Pelecanos jumps around way too much, and at too many times when he should be fleshing out the story more or adding some more action, which "Hell" is seriously devoid of. It seems like he used this book as a chance to describe the seedier side of Washington and to mention all of the urban hip-hop artists he knows rather than trying to tell an entertaining story.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
One of today's finest writers of crime fiction is George Pelecanos. He has previously written the "Washington quartet"-- a group of books, actually historical mysteries, that took place over a number of years and shared characters. His latest series concerns PIs Derek Strange and Terry Quinn. Strange started Strange Investigations and hired Quinn, a retired police officer. I considered the first book in the series, RIGHT AS RAIN, to be one of the best books of last year.
Several separate plots are occurring simultaneously. Strange and Quinn are hired to recover a fourteen year old girl working as a prostitute for Worldwide Wilson, a hardened operative. One of the problems is that the girl does not want to go home. Another plot concerns three homicidal young men who want to knock off a man who owes them money. The man is an uncle to one of the boys playing on Strange's youth football team that he coaches. When the boy becomes involved, Strange and Quinn want vengeance.
HELL TO PAY is another sterling example of what makes George Pelecanos one of the best. He is a master of characters and dialogue. They reflect the highly realistic milieu of the nation's capital where this series takes place. He successfully balances these superb characterizations with a truly riveting plot. The book is also just the right size. Other practitioners of the crime fiction art would do very well to read and learn from this very, very fine writer. One of the best of the year.
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By John D. Costanzo on Oct. 30 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you are feeling down and are looking for a book to pick you up, this is NOT the one. It is a grim and depressing story about the harsh realities of inner city life. Sex, drugs and racism are all a part of this story. Pelecanos portrays two characters, Quinn and Strange, who are trying to do the right thing in a place where right and wrong do not seem to matter much. Both characters are complex and flawed, and amongst the most interesting in all of crime fiction.
The book is well written, and expertly plotted. The conclusion may not satisfy you, but it is memorable if not haunting. Hell to Pay is a top-notch crime novel and I highly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover
There are very few authors who have that result after having read one of their books. He hits the winners list. The story dragged. The switching of viewpoints can be wonderful if done properly. This wasn't one of them. I kept feeling like slapping the main characters and saying "OH just get on with it." The feel of the book was disjointed before I started to skip parts due to sheer boredom. What really suprised me was skipping didn't hurt the feel one bit. The disjointed rating stayed the same. Somehow I don't think that can be classified as good writing. The characters didn't save the day and involve me enough to make me want to read.
I felt like slapping the author when I had to skip what became boring recitations of all the songs he knows. I pray it is all he knows. I would hate to think there is more in store for us. There is a LOT of difference in listening to music, finding it in a movie sound track and reading about it. Save it for the movie if it ever makes it. Read Vachss for how it is suppose to be done and spare us Please.
The story just didn't hold together well enough to avoid me starting the old skip this. Even with all the skipping I did I found I didn't lose much. That says a lot.
I looked at his new one and ran far far away to writers I know I enjoy.
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