Sully knows there's more to the story when Billy Ellison, son of one of Washington's most wealthy, influential and revered black families, is found dead in a park known for gang and drug activity. Repeatedly warned off by his newspaper, Billy's family and the local gangs, Sully is like a dog with a bone - he won't back down and he won't let go.
Which makes for a helluva good read. The plot of Murder, D.C. was inventive, drawing on both fact and fiction. I enjoyed riding along with Sully as he slowly uncovers bits and pieces, ferreting out the truth amongst the lies to arrive at the final reveal. I had my suspicions along the way, but was surprised by many of the turns the book took. (And this is a good thing - I enjoy not being able to predict a plot)
The best protagonists for crime books are the walking wounded, the ones who buck authority, the ones who just can't let things be or let justice go unserved. Sully Carter fills the bill on every count. He's battling PTSD, alcohol and anger issues, his bosses and manages to step on toes everywhere he goes. (many times on purpose) He's also a confidant of the one of DC's most feared crimelords. In this latest book, Tucker continues to fleshy out Sully's character, exposing more of his personal life and the reasons behind his runaway train of a life. Alexis, a photographer, Sully's friend and sometimes lover was a great addition to the story. I loved her attitude and view on life. I hope we see more of her in the future.
Both characters have a history as war correspondents. Neely's own background is rich and wide reaching. His experience as a journalist is evident in his writing. (And I wonder how much of Sully is drawn from the author himself) Neely's descriptions of time and place are vivid and I had strong mental images of the streets, back alleys and underbelly of Washington. These books are set in the late 1990's - when Washington was known as the murder capital of the U.S. (Hence the title)
I look forward to Sully's next story. Read an excerpt of Murder, D.C.
You can connect with Neely Tucker on Twitter, on his website and also on Facebook. Fans of George Pelecanos and Elmore Leonard will absolutely enjoy Neely Tucker's books.