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Nick's Trip [Paperback]

George P. Pelecanos
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 1 1999 A Five Star Title
The second title in the Nick Stefanos series. Pelecanos is hot.

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Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

This hip and sometimes nasty booze-dope-and-good-times tale follows A Firing Offense, the first appearance of Washington, D.C., sleuth Nick Stefanos. It offers breezy, slightly uneven entertainment and some well-aimed criticism of the current music scene. Nick tends bar at the Spot, makes athletic love with his girlfriend, Lee, and agrees to impregnate his lesbian pal Jackie as a favor. Then a former road-trip buddy named Billy shows up at the Spot one night and announces that his wife is missing, as is $200,000 that belongs to a minor-league numbers runner. Nick trails the wife to the backwoods south of the city, where a mean former lover of hers slaughters pigs for kicks and a living. Then the father of the numbers runner gives Nick an unexpected lead in the unsolved murder of his journalist pal, William Henry. A cast of sharply etched minor characters, including a liquored-up, burned-out cop who plays a part in the credible, sobering conclusion, adds to the pleasures offered by the offbeat Nick, with his gruff sensibilities and fine taste in women and music.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Two cases for D.C. shamus Nick Stefanos, who's left his job at Nutty Nathan's (A Firing Offense, 1992) to patrol the bar at the Spot. First, his high-school friend Billy Goodrich walks in and asks him to find his wife April, who he says skedaddled with small-time crime boss Joey DiGeordano. Wrong: April actually rode off into the southern Maryland sunset with hog farmer/bondage freak Tommy Crane and, it turns out, with $200,000 of DiGeordano family money. In between boozy car trips with Billy, present and remembered, Nick finds time to reopen the murder of William Henry, his reporter friend killed because he was learning too much about a trio of pizza kings--and to impregnate his lesbian friend Jackie Kahn, who's decided it's time for a baby. Pelecanos's retake on The Long Goodbye requires Nick to shed the snakelike charm he showed in his debut in favor of a more modish lament for things past, and the split between separate cases doesn't make the book any stronger. But there are still some great scenes, great people, and great background music. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Average P.I. June 14 2001
Nick Stefanos is a private eye who helps make ends meet by working behind the bar at a place called the Spot. An old buddy from school tracks him down and asks him to find his wife. While working the case we are continually taken back to Nick's youth as he remembers old friends and family. The storyline lurches from chapter to chapter. One minute he's working on the case in search of a missing woman, the next he's running down leads about a murdered friend leaving us to make the necessary mental adjustments.
Nick's a hard-drinking, hard-smoking bloke who's marching to the beat of his own drummer. This is not a light hearted romp, rather, we trudge through the seedier parts of town with a character who tends to fit right in. The method of chasing up leads seems to be an endless series of visits to bars throughout the D.C. area with a necessary shot and a beer at each. You've got to be prepared to accept that Nick Stefanos has many faults and weaknesses and is not your average private investigator. Oh, by the way, even with all his faults, I still found the story quite enjoyable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nick Ain't Happy Jan. 10 2001
The three Nick Stefanos mysteries (of which this is the second) follow the linear descent of their hero from rebellious career stiff to hard drinking private eye to hopeless alcoholic. Along the way, Nick bares his soul more completely than do most first person narrative P.I.'s. His stories are also among the most darkly violent and gritty that I've come across in the genre. "Nick's Trip" is better than "A Firing Offense," the first Stefanos book, if only because it is more plausible and more focussed. Along the way, Nick reunites with an old friend who has become an obnoxious yuppie and whose wife has disappered. He also manages to lose his girlfriend and become a surrogate father. The whole book has an overwhelming feeling of lonliness to it, like a late night country song. It is definately NOT for readers of light mainstream fiction.
Overall, a must read for fans of authors such as James Crumley and Andrew Vachss and anyone else who likes their P.I. fiction truly hard boiled.
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By lazza
George Pelecanos is certainly a writer worthy of better notice. He writes in a very literate yet street-wise manner. His reflections of youth (in his home town of Washington) are poignant, and he throws in a fine crime story for good measure. "Nick's Trip" is no exception. Not classic Pelecanos but certainly a fun ride.
"Nick's Trip" is not a "road book". I think the title is somewhat metaphorical, describing the journey in life by a young private detective named Nick Stephanos. He reflects on past friendships, boozing and life when he bumps into an old friend with a problem (missing wife, big money involved, etc). He becomes more reflective when he calls for the aid from an old family acquaintance, someone well connected into local organized crime. Then the adventure takes off. A fast read, great characterizations. And a real treat for 1970s music buffs.
Bottom line: one of several jewels by Pelecanos. Recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Might Be The Best Book By Pelecanos June 26 2004
This was the first Pelecanos book I ever read, and it had me snared from the very beginning. This guy is so talented, so funny, and so adept at capturing the raw feel of average daily life for a simple bartender who occasionally plays private detective. I found myself in awe of the writing in this book; so original, so humorous...with characters so real that you can't help rooting for them. Pelecanos has now gone on to write books which are far more serious and not nearly as good, in my opinion. His first three books, featuring PI Nick Stefanos, are really fantastic and to me, this is the best of the three. A far cry from the usual tale of the down-and-out PI who drinks too much and cries in his beer all day. This book is truly original, a real gem, and fans of PI fiction (and blue-collar literature) will love it.
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