George Pelecanos is one of the writers of The Wire and The Night Gardener, while not actually set in the same universe (as we'd say in the scifi world), feels very much The Wire-esque. Of course, Pelecanos has been writing these sorts of books for longer than The Wire has been on the air, so I suppose The Wire is very Pelecanos-esque. Whichever and whatever, I'm really glad to have discovered his writing--it'll be another way to satisfy my Wire fix when the series comes to it's all-too-soon end.
The Night Gardener is set in Washington, DC and suburban Maryland (not far from the seedy Baltimore of The Wire) and follows some just-trying-to-do-their-jobs homicide cops as they try to solve several murders. The death of a young man might be connected to some decades-old serial killings, but this is no flashy Bones or CSI and these cops are on no great crusade.
"How do you solve a murder? Tell me. 'Cause I'd really like to know."
"What are you talking about?"
"Would finding the killer raise those kids back from the dead? Would it bring closure to the families? What would it solve, exactly?" Ramone shook his head bitterly. "I lost the idea a long time ago that I was accomplishing anything. Occasionally I put assholes away for life, knowing they can't kill again. That's how I speak for the fallen few. But as far as solving goes? I don't solve shit. I go to work every day and I try to protect my wife and kids from the bad things that are out there. That's my mission. That's all I can do."
We also get to see things from the perspective of criminals and school children (just like on The... alright, I'll stop now).
FuzzyCo grade: A