For Joey Recevo and Pete Karras, two kids from one of Washington's rougher neighborhoods, the easiest work to find after the war is all criminal--providing a little muscle for a local boss. But Karras is soft on his fellow immigrants, and the boss can't let his mob get soft, so one of his boys gives Karras a painful lesson.
Three years later, it's the same mob that figures big Nick Stefanos's grill needs protection-and this decision will once again bring Joey and Pete face-to-face. In this final confrontation, the two of them will find the meaning of friendship, the heart of honor, and the cost of both.
Powerfully told, elegantly wrought, The Big Blowdown is a knockout.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful: hoodlums and druggies of 1940s Washington.., March 18, 2003 Reviewer: lazza from London George Pelecanos must really love or hate his home town of Washington. He always seems to write about it, but what he writes about won't appear in any Chamber of Commerce brochure. Druggies, organized crime, and ethnic violence seemingly permeate the lives of all Washingtonians. "The Big Blowdown" departs from the author's other works in that much of it reads as a biopic. We are given a "Reader's Digest" biography of a young Greek-American man raised in 1930s/1940s Washington. While it is all not uninteresting even fans of the author will find it to be a prosaic. Fortunately halfway through the book all the characters from this man's childhood come together for a very violent, and well-written, conclusion. The author deftly tackles subjects like loyalty and personal ethics along the way. Bottom line: despite its slow start this book ultimately comes together with "oomph". Recommended.