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The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos
The Night Gardener refers to a serial killer who leaves his teenage victims, all with palindromic first names, in a community garden in Washington, DC. His first victim was found in 1985, investigated by detective T. C. Cook and aided by rookie cops Gus Ramone, and Dan "Doc" Holiday, although the killer was never found. 20 years later, Cook is retired and Holiday was forced to resign because of drinking and prostitute problems, when Holiday is sleeping off a drunken binge and finds the corpse of a boy named Asa in the community garden. Holiday recruits the feeble Cook to do their own private investigation while Ramone handles the official one, in hopes of solving the crime that has haunted them for decades. George Pelecanos's novel has received positive reviews with the New York Times saying, "The Night Gardener is another of Pelecanos's beautifully delineated moral tales, filled with gut-wrenching turns of fate and razor-sharp, boisterously vivid characters."