Fans new and old will celebrate George Pelecanos’ return to the ring with his latest novel, The Cut. A new Pelecanos hero has been brought into the fold, one Spero Lucas, a specialist in retrieving items deemed irretrievable by legal means. Lucas is an Iraq vet, world-weary at a young age and with a pragmatist’s view of the fine line of legality—a line he steps over with some regularity. Hired by an inmate to recover several packages of marijuana that have mysteriously gone missing, Lucas discovers that bent cops are in on the swiping of the drugs, not to mention the redistribution thereof. It goes without saying that they will pull out all the stops to keep Lucas at bay—murder included. You may want to keep a jargon dictionary on hand, as Pelecanos has perhaps the best ear in the business for contemporary street lingo, and he passes it on to the reader without editorial commentary. His writing is masterful, and The Cut deserves a place among his best work, which, as his legions of readers well know, is high praise indeed.
August 03, 2011