cover image D.C. Noir

D.C. Noir

George Pelecanos, . . Akashic, $14.95 (308pp) ISBN 978-1-888451-90-0

While only a few of the contributors, such as editor Pelecanos, will be familiar to most readers, every story in this all-original noir anthology set in the nation's capital is well written, even if each captures the cynicism and despair of classic noir with varying success. Highlights include Pelecanos's "The Confidential Informant" and Laura Lippman's "A.R.M. and the Woman," though these could have been set elsewhere with little change to characters or plot. Jim Fusilli's "The Dupe," a contemporary political tale of betrayal, best makes use of the Washington setting. Despite Pelecanos's claim in his introduction that it's too easy to call the city polarized, rarely do the paths of the haves and the have-nots cross in these 16 tales, 10 of which have their crimes occur in the prosperous Northwest section of D.C. (Feb.)