Derek Strange and Terry Quinn, the team of private investigators who made their stunning debut in Right as Rain, are hired to find a 14-year-old white girl from the suburbs who’s run away from home and is now working as a prostitute in some dangerous neighborhoods. The two ex-cops think they know the dangers, but nothing in their experience has prepared them for Worldwide Wilson, the pimp whose territory they are intruding upon. The situation is compounded when one of the young stars of a community pee-wee football team – which Strange and Quinn spend their evenings coaching – is killed by a drug dealer while riding in a car with his uncle. Tracking down his killers becomes a point of honor for Strange and Quinn, and their off-the-Books investigation leads them back to Wilson. Soon, the two detectives are forced to sort through the pieces of evidence to put together the puzzle and solve the crime. Combining inimitable neighborhood flavor, action scenes that rank among the best in fiction, and a clear-eyed view of morality in a world with few rules, Hell to Pay is another Pelecanos masterpiece to be savored.
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