The Wire is gone forever but I've still got Pelecanos. He's not unconventional, he's just really good at his thing. He's a master at building tension. From the first chapter you can feel it simmering. The subjects at hand are often bleak but there's usually some kernel of hope in each of his novels. The small act of redemption here, on the part of a secondary character, is handled really well; it doesn't go as planned but it lends humanity and depth to a character who, in other hands, would likely be a one-dimensional caricature and this is what sets Pelecanos apart from genre writers. He keeps writing, I'll keep reading.