VJ Books Blog

Bestselling crime novelist George Pelecanos releases his latest Derek Strange novel, What It Was


Press Release

Bestselling crime novelist George Pelecanos releases his latest Derek Strange novel, What It Was.

Tualatin, Oregon, January 1, 2012 – Since 2001, Derek Strange–the hard headed private detective–has faced a cadre of clever bad guys as he navigates the streets and culture that is Washington D.C.

About What It Was

In Pelecanos’s newest book, What It Was, it is 1972 and Derek Strange has recently left the D.C. police force and set up shop as a private investigator.  His former partner, Frank “Hound Dog” Vaughn is still on the force.  Helping a new client recover a ring of some sentimental value, Strange steps into Vaughn’s case, where a local druggie has been murdered.

Soon both Strange and Vaughn are in hot pursuit of a cold-blooded killer known on the street as ‘Red Fury,” so called for his looks and the car his girlfriend drives.  Red Fury doesn’t care who he has to kill – or cross – to get what he wants, and as the violence grows and the stakes get higher, strange and Vaughn know that the only way to catch their man is to do it ‘their way.’

George Pelecanos talks about Derek Strange on YouTube.  Click here to watch the video.

“I am pleased to see Pelecanos return to the streets that earned him the Gumshoe Award in 2003,” tells John Hutchinson of VJ Books, “Hell to Pay is one of my favourite books, and I appreciate how What It Was tells some of the back story of how Derek Strange got started.”  “It’s a great background for the other Strange novels, Right as Rain and Soul Circus,” adds Hutchinson.

About George Pelecanos

Pelecanos is the author of 17 bestselling crime novels set in and around Washington D.C.:  A Firing Offense, Nick’s Trip, Shoedog, Down By The River Where the Dead Men Go, The Big Blowdown, King Suckerman, The Sweet Forever, Shame the Devil, Right as Rain, Hell to Pay, Soul Circus, Hard Revolution, Drama City, The Night Gardener, The Turnaround, The Way Home and The Cut, all of which precede What It Was.

He is the recipient of many book awards and his short fiction has appeared in Esquire and the collections American Mystery Stories of 1997, Measures of Poison, Best Mystery Stories of 2002, Men from Boys, Murder at the Foul Line, and D.C. Noir.   His award winning essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, GQ, Sight and Sound, Uncut, Mojo and numerous other publications.

As a screen writer and producer, Pelecanos has many projects to his credit including the highly acclaimed miniseries The Pacific.

Esquire Magazine has called George Pelecanos “the poet laureate of the D.C. crime world.”

VJ Books is offering signed copies of What It Was, as well as many other signed George Pelecanos titles, including last year’s hit, The Cut.