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The Cut Audiobook

The Cut: Spero Lucas, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (203 )
5 star
 (43)
4 star
 (87)
3 star
 (49)
2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (12)
Overall
3.6 (181 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.9 (184 )
5 star
 (57)
4 star
 (77)
3 star
 (31)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (11)
Performance
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  •  
    Joe Kraus Kingston, PA, United States 10-31-16
    Joe Kraus Kingston, PA, United States 10-31-16 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    252
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    154
    151
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    16
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Solid Work, but Softened by the Promise of More"
    What about Dion Graham’s performance did you like?

    Great voice and strong narration, but he struggles with some of the accents here.


    Any additional comments?

    The good news here is that Pelecanos can write. He’s a pro as I know from this, another novel or two, and his rock-solid reputation. He’s one of the top-tier noir guys going. The signs of that come early here: he’s got the Elmore Leonard capacity for leaving out the parts people want to skip, and he’s got a knack for establishing compelling aspects of character in a few slick sentences.

    The bad news is that this feels, from the start, like a bid for a successful series. Spero Lucas is a striking character. He’s proud of the Greek heritage he took from his adoptive family, but he’s also bound by the fact of his dark skin. He’s a full brother to Leo, but they’re on opposite sides of the business of bettering their community; Leo’s an idealistic teacher and Spero is a private investigator who’s willing to work with questionable characters. Spero’s young, handsome and dealing with his demons from the Iraq war. And there’s the unresolved business of his now widowed mother.

    My point isn’t that all that’s bad – in fact, the premise of an Iraq vet P.I. is timely and promising – but that it has the feel of a bigger plan. It’s not just Spero’s relationship with his mother that’s unresolved; everything is. We get invited into his busy and sprawling life, and we don’t really get shown the exit. Yeah, the particular crime gets resolved, but we’re left ‘teased’ with the idea that there’s more to come in Spero’s story.

    That’s not necessarily Pelecanos’s fault; it’s his job after all to get a series rolling. I just can’t help feeling that, for all the excellent series we’ve seen in noir, that there’s something un-noir, un-hardboiled to them. I don’t believe in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because I think rock is always implicitly anti-institutional; so an institution celebrating that is either self-consciously ironic or just plain wrong. In the same way, I think noir is about a glimpse into a dark corner of a dark scene. Repeated glimpses mean, eventually, fuller illumination. They mean a kind of well-lit noir – and that sounds like an oxymoron to me.

    Anyway, I did enjoy this – and I have enjoyed some series, most of all Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins stories – but I can’t help feeling there’s better Pelecanos elsewhere. What we get of Spero’s Iraq history is compelling, and I like the Greek flavor, too. There’s a good mystery with a clever enough twist, but there’s also a gratuitous change of heart by one of the antagonists. That is, there’s a softness in the heart of what otherwise feels hard.

    My favorite part here is undoubtedly the beginning, when Pelecanos writes with a crisp enthusiasm in his new detective’s world. Once he settles into the demands of widening that world, once he telegraphs that we’re in for a whole raft of sequels, I start to think maybe this is less a matter of excellence and more a matter of competence.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gideon PRINCE ALBERT, South Africa 08-13-12
    Gideon PRINCE ALBERT, South Africa 08-13-12 Member Since 2009

    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 ....

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    12
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    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "What you see is what you get."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Clever thriller with a believable protagonist - he's Black, he's Greek, he's adopted, it works.

    Wouldn't change a thing.


    If you’ve listened to books by George Pelecanos before, how does this one compare?

    This is one of my favourite books by Pelecanos.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Difficult to say which scene was my favourite. Probably him and his mom or the final shoot-out.


    Do you think The Cut needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No doubt. Methinks there are plenty readers waiting for Spero Lucas to show up again.


    Any additional comments?

    Light, quick, plausible and well read.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl Vetlanda, Sweden 09-27-13
    Carl Vetlanda, Sweden 09-27-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    41
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    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not of average George Pelecanos standard"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A better story.


    What could George Pelecanos have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Written much shorter and less boring introduction.


    What didn’t you like about Dion Graham’s performance?

    Hearing him saying "said Lucas" many hundred times after short few word lines almost turned this book to a cartoon.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Pelecanos use to be a good author, and I've never complained about his other books.


    Any additional comments?

    I've listened and enjoyed several other George Pelecanos books but this one was different, indeed. With only a few seconds between all these "said Lucas" and "said Leo or said somebody else" was, so far, the worst performance in my opinion.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Madison, WI, United States 02-20-14
    Mary Madison, WI, United States 02-20-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    71
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    141
    26
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stereotypes, caricatures and cliches"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People who like their characters and plots to be simple and predictable.


    Would you ever listen to anything by George Pelecanos again?

    Probably not.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Not sure. It needed a better book.


    What character would you cut from The Cut?

    Spero Lucas


    Any additional comments?

    This is the first book I've read from Pelecanos. It will be the last. Is there any character that isn't a caricature or stereotype? Could it be any less predictable? I don't think so. A good mystery writer should first be a good writer.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel 07-23-12
    Daniel 07-23-12

    Dan

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    180
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Don't believe everything you hear"
    Would you recommend The Cut to your friends? Why or why not?

    Not in audiobook.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Dion Graham?

    Yes! Too many forced and fake voices for me.


    Any additional comments?

    I heard only great things about Pelecanos, and loved his contributions on the show "The Wire" and thought I would give this novel a try. My biggest issue is with the narrator, which most likely killed my enjoyment of the novel. The story was in interesting but not so unpredicatable I was ever truly surprised as events unfold.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane United States 03-15-14
    Jane United States 03-15-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    86
    31
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
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    Story
    "Just okay in my book."

    I don't feel that it was a waste of a credit to buy this book, but I don't see me buying book 2 either. It was okay.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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