George Pelecanos features in the Observer's 'Once Upon a Life' section. In the article, he describes how he ran his father's diner, the 'Jefferson Coffee Shop', in Washington DC. In my review of 'The Way Home', I felt Pelecanos was very harsh about the young character, Chris Flynn, maybe, because he followed a path that the writer had experienced. Pelecanos' description of himself as a young man in the Observer feature, seems to confirm this view.
But only George knows.