Way too much pop culture immersion in this one for me, which is funny, because that's one of the things I appreciate about Pelecanos - his ability to evoke a particular time and place by what was in the air music- and culture-wise.
Basically, King Suckerman
is the story of a regular guy who, having sown his own wild oats and left those days behind, makes a dumb move and gets caught up in something far worse than he anticipated. His best friend is a sort of ne'er-do-well party guy and playboy whose behavior is more than a little responsible for the two of them falling into a bad situation and not knowing quite how to get out of it.
The bad guys in this one are particularly brutal, IMO, and that made it somewhat difficult to read. In his books that I've read thus far, Pelecanos mostly makes the bad guys part of the scenery - they're not soft-pedaled, but you don't get repeated instances of having their brutality thrust in your face. Not the case with this one, so be warned if you've got a low tolerance for such things.