It’s no secret that I adore the TV show The Wire, of which Pelecanos was one of the writers for. I think it’s a true masterpiece of the medium and my favorite season was the fourth when they focused on the inner city kids and how they were treated in the public school system. Many critics agreed with me, but I know I liked it because it was an issue I was more involved with than say politics or unions. That is one of the reasons I responded so well to The Way Home because Pelecanos once again focuses on teenagers.
The book opens with Chris Flynn having to go to juvenile prison. How Pelecanos handles Chris’s reactions to this situation and his fathers are so compelling that I was practically hypnotized by them. I am always critical about modern portrays of teenagers, but Pelecanos succeeds here for he captures the conceived invincibility and egos. For I should know: I’m obviously invincible. Yes, the book eventually uses a plot device that is a bit tired but the strength of the writing and the characters surpassed that and made this one of the most memorable books of the year so far.