Nick's Trip Paperback – Sep 1 1999
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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.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
"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.
Most recent customer reviews
Another fine effort by Pelecanos. I had run across Nick in some of the author's other work, but I didn't really appreciate him until I read Nick's Trip. Read morePublished on July 30 2002 by brazos49
Pelecanos's pace, plotting, and ear for street talk are light years beyond most mystery fare with plodding dialog and flat characters. Read morePublished on Aug. 3 2000 by Neil
By page forty I had lost all interest in "Nick" and decided not to follow him on his trip. "Slow and drab" describe the well built atmosphere Pelecanos offers. Read morePublished on July 1 2000 by Jeepy Joe