Spero Lucas has a new line of work. Since he returned home after serving in Iraq, he has been doing special investigations for a defense attorney. He's good at it, and he has carved out a niche: recovering stolen property, no questions asked. His cut is 40 percent.
A high-profile crime boss who has heard of Lucas's specialty hires him to find out who has been stealing from his operation. It's the biggest job Lucas has ever been offered, and he quickly gets a sense of what's going on. But before he can close in on what's been taken, he tangles with a world of men whose amorality and violence leave him reeling. Is any cut worth your family, your lover, your life?
Spero Lucas is George Pelecanos's greatest creation, a young man making his place in the world one battle and one mission at a time. The first in a new series of thrillers featuring Spero Lucas, The Cut is the latest confirmation of why George Pelecanos is "perhaps America's greatest living crime writer" (Stephen King).
©2011 George Pelecanos (P)2011 Hachette
A good old popcorn kinda story but with a new age kinda sensibility. We have a complex and unusual lead character to follow here. And, with crime fiction, I think if you can say you were in suspense, but intrigued, and entertained all at once, the novel is a success. I can say that here. And it is.The narrator, is perfectly suited to the material. He takes us on this journey and subtly navigates along with us through the plot twists and turns. Really great work! Really enjoyable! Highly recommended!!!
I happened to listen to this book after just failing to finish a disappointing audible download. This was just what I was looking for: quick, smart, and entertaining. I was into the story from the get go, and REALLY enjoyed it.
I live in the DC area and loved the authentic, DC-centric setting. Pelecanos doesn't just name drop all of the local bars, streets, schools, etc; he actually gets them right. He even nails the changing atmosphere of the city today. The narrator is an excellent, giving easily recognizable and distinct voices to the characters.
As to the story, the Spero Lucas character is a good one, as is his interesting family and background. I'll be looking forward to checking out the next book.
Pellecanos' entry into this growing genre - Iraq or Afghanistan vets returning to the US - is excellent. Don Winslow's "Savages" was another example of this type of novel.
The moral relativism, the tension between the brothers and the unforeseen consequences of one bad decision are themes well explored.
It is not Jack Reacher, although both protagonists were in the military. If anything it reminds me of the excellent movie "Four Brothers."
I look forward to the next in this series.
George Pelecanos knows Washington, D.C. Great story - exciting - a lot of my friends feel he is brutal/ethnic/whatever just writes a good engaging story. The narrator Dion Graham makes one feel out of his mouth to ..ears.
Pelecanos' characters are always good - believable, lively, unpredictable.
Good reading. Best readers are those who do such a good job you don't notive them, and Mr. Graham met that criterion.
I really liked this - good blend between crime solving, earning a living and dealing with family problems. very believable characters and a good plot line.
George Pelecanos is a terrific writer, and this novel is an outstanding example of his work. Readers like me who live in the D.C. area may have extra reasons to enjoy his fiction, because it offers an intensely personal peek into a variety of Washington-area locales. Only a few of these are likely to be well known, even to long-time residents. Heck, I also enjoy closely observed fiction about cities I know much less well, such as L.A. and New York. My suspicion is that readers who like close-up and realistic introductions to city jails, law offices, neighborhoods on the upswing, and obscure neighborhoods on the road to abandonment will be fascinated by Pelecanos's presentation of D.C.
The story is an interesting one. Much of its interest flows out of the compelling and believable characters Pelecanos creates. Many of the characters occupy a grey area between lawlessness and loyalty to a kind of basically moral code. A principal character is drawn, through his lawful but somewhat shady profession, into D.C.'s drug trade. A fairly straightforward recovery job turns complicated when murder intrudes. If other readers are like me they will care about the sometimes unlikeable characters who get killed or threatened as a result of the main character's persistence.
The narrator, Dion Graham, does a terrific job with the range of voices in Pelecanos's Washington. As is usual in Pelecanos stories, we meet all kinds of folks, both African-American and white, who will be recognizable to long-time D.C. residents. The narrator speaks easily and without condescension all of the voices in this wonderful novel.
Complex young anti-hero exuding sex appeal unafraid to confront the baddest of bad
Don't want to spoil it
Abilty to pull off inner DC dialects; ability to personify Spero's coolness flawlessly
Yes, but wouldn't let myself as it so infrequent you get a book you want to savor
What a refreshing change....more please
What a wonderful book. Great tone, characters, dialogue and I love the narrator. His silky slides into other voices are amazing. Each one is believable. My problem remains a big one, however. The architecture of the story is so predictable.
Once the story starts to talk up a character, such as, a young man in high school full of promise, we know he's going down. Another one: the brave and optimistic Iraq war vet, hobbling along on a metal leg and bringing realistic light into bad situations. Boom for him. And the fight between brothers? Saw it coming chapters back. Saw the misunderstanding.
Haven't finished and don't believe I will. For all the admirable qualities George Pelecanos possesses as a writer, there's something here I just don't buy. His vision of struggling urban life has a cartoon quality. He's bringing the comics to life and not quite able to shed the banality at the center of his enterprise. I don't believe him. He quotes Elmore Leonard, but he is far, far from Elmore Leonard.
Will read just about anything. Favourites include Tom Robbins, Umberto Eco, Michael Connelly, Chris Brookmyre, Julian Barnes, James Joyce, Tim Butcher, Barbara Kingsolver, Ettienne van Heerden, Deon Meyer and ....
Clever thriller with a believable protagonist - he's Black, he's Greek, he's adopted, it works.
Wouldn't change a thing.
This is one of my favourite books by Pelecanos.
Difficult to say which scene was my favourite. Probably him and his mom or the final shoot-out.
No doubt. Methinks there are plenty readers waiting for Spero Lucas to show up again.
Light, quick, plausible and well read.
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