The Cut (Reagan Arthur Books, 2011)
Description (from the publisher)
Meet Spero Lucas—the newest literary hero from George Pelecanos, New York Times bestselling author and writer for The Wire.
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 forty 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?
Lucas Spero 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 new confirmation of why George Pelecanos is “perhaps America’s greatest living crime writer.” (Stephen King).
What the Tiny Monkey Thinks
If there is a class to be taught on how to write simply, succinctly, and yet achieve an impact like a punch to the gut, George Pelecanos is the teacher (or at least co-teacher with Elmore Leonard and Walter Mosley). The Cut has nary one wasted word, not one superfluous scene, not fat to trim, yet it brims with astonishingly precise characterizations, brings Washington D.C. to life like few others have achieved, and is a mother of a mover to boot. I've only partaken of a few of Pelecanos' many works (and have not yet seen any of his television series The Wire, which everyone in the universe tells me is the best thing ever created in the history of everything by anybody), but there's no denying he's among the best of his breed. The Cut, however, seems a little light when compared to some of his previous efforts such as Hard Revolution; it's compulsively readable, but it doesn't linger in the soul the way his best do. Yet it's a spiffy crime thriller with a great lead in Lucas, an inventive investigator who knows his way around the streets. Lucas is flawed, magnetic, and deeply human, with echoes of Mosley's Easy Rawlins. The Cut may not be Pelecanos' best, but it's a tight, tough, and brutal novel that doubtless will be a series to be savoured.
Tiny Monkey Greatly Enjoys the Ride