From Publishers Weekly
Thirtysomething Nick Stefanos, up-from-the-sales-floor ad manager at a Washington, D.C., electronics chain, has quit smoking and considerably reduced his drug intake but still drinks pretty heavily. When the grandfather of Jimmy Broda, a stockboy Nick has befriended, asks him to help find the missing boy, Nick reluctantly agrees. Jimmy has been hanging out with skinheads and Nick begins plumbing that world after he's fired from his job. With time and severance pay on his hands he follows Jimmy's trail to the resorts of the Carolina Outer Banks, moving back to Washington to unravel a plot that involves drugs, violence and murder. Besides offering an inside look at electronics retailing, dreary skinheads, a nostalgic list of late baby-boomers' pop songs and quite a lot of drinking (including a solo binge by Nick that feels gratuitous), Pelacanos also delivers a blazing, climactic shoot-out. Nick's weltschmerz is saved from excess by the cool, controlled prose and the realistic, rather bleak resolution.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Meet Nick Stefanos, hard-drinking, heavy-metal-loving D.C. appliance salesman who talks so much like a private eye that stockboy Jimmy Broda's grandfather insists that he find the missing boy, who was fired after he stopped showing up for work--and who was last seen with novice druggie Eddie ``Redman'' Shultz and dangerously experienced Kim Lazarus. Despite Nick's marathon sessions with drink, drugs, and women, the seamiest stuff goes down on the retail floor of Nutty Nathan's, a milieu that Pelecanos limns with such tell-all relish that it's obvious Jimmy's troubles stem from his job--and it's a shame (though no surprise) that, by the time this loosely plotted tale has run its course, Nick has left retail for the comparatively wholesome world of the professional shamus. Nick's as robust as his mystery is anemic. This debut is promising--but better wait for Pelecanos to throw better stuff. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.