Pelecanos’s most beloved character, Derek Strange, is back. It’s Washington, D.C. in 1972 and Strange has left the police department and set up shop as a private investigator. His former partner, Frank "Hound Dog" Vaughn, is still on the force. When a young woman comes to Strange asking for his help recovering a cheap ring she claims has sentimental value, the case leads him onto Vaughn's turf, where a local drug addict has been murdered, shot point-blank in his apartment. Soon both men are on the trail of a ruthless killer: Red Fury, so called for his looks and the car his girlfriend drives, but a name that fits his personality all too well. Red Fury doesn't have a retirement plan, as Vaughn points out - he doesn't care who he has to cross, or kill, to get what he wants. As the violence escalates and the stakes get higher, Strange and Vaughn know the only way to catch their man is to do it their own way. Rich with details of place and time - the cars, the music, the clothes - and fueled by non-stop action, WHAT IT WAS (Reagan Arthur Books/Back Bay Books; January 23, 2012; paperback, $9.99; ebook $.99 deluxe edition, $35) is Pelecanos writing in the hard-boiled noir style that won him his earliest fans and placed him firmly in the ranks of the top crime writers in America.
Reagan Arthur Books is releasing WHAT IT WAS with a special limited-time price promotion. The stand-alone title will be published on January 23, 2012, in three formats: a 99-cent ebook, a $9.99 trade paperback, and a limited-edition, signed and slip-cased hardcover for $35. The e-book price of 99 cents applies to preorders and purchases made within one month of publication; after that the e-book price will be $4.99. This is the first time that Little, Brown has published a new book at 99 cents.
Of the unusual pricing for an established novelist, Editorial Director and VP Reagan Arthur says "When George delivered a great new novel earlier than we expected, we saw an opportunity to build the excitement about his books by publishing WHAT IT WAS right away, off the list, and with packaging and pricing aimed at attracting new readers. George is one of the best-reviewed and most highly praised writers of suspense fiction today. What we’re hoping to get across with this publication is that he is also the most fun to read."