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Summary

Anna Byrne is a jailhouse librarian. Most days, she loves her job and shares the life-affirming power of books to people who would have no hope without them. Often, she can get too close and forget some of these men are dangerous criminals.

But some of them never had a chance. Like Michael Hudson, who's been locked up awaiting trial before his sudden release. He's happy and relieved but can't shake the question preying on his mind: how comes the witness who put him behind bars is suddenly refusing to testify?

There's a man who might have the answer, but he wants something first. Phil Ornazian is a private investigator who moonlights as a petty criminal. He's not exactly proud of it, but times are hard in Washington DC. People have to change to survive, or die trying.

But everything comes at a price and, at some point, everyone has to pay....

©2018 George Pelecanos (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group

Critic reviews

"He is, quite simply, among America's finest crime writers. This latest story does not disappoint...lyrical, beautifully observed and constantly surprising, it is a delight." (Daily Mail)

"In his first novel for five years, Pelecanos demonstrates why he deserves to be regarded as one of the best American crime novelists... It's a moving tale, beautifully told." (The Times)

What listeners say about The Man Who Came Uptown

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More than a thriller

This author deserves a wider audience. The plot, characterisation and description are all first class. There is a moral to this tale.

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Morality Play

I love the work of George Pelecanos and this has many of the ingredients that make him so great - a solid plot, great dialogue and excellent references to popular culture especially music and cars. It is very strong on the redemptive power of literature (without actually saying why) so we assume that reading is good (which it is) and makes people better (which it might - but it is not proven).
On the downside, I found the reading a little wooden and the female English accent appalling so perhaps a better read than listen.