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The Cut (Spero Lucas 1) Paperback – 5 Jul 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (5 July 2012)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 1409109674
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409109679
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 52,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


As you'd expect from a writer with credit for both The Wire and Treme, Pelecanos expertly renders the streets of the US capital and succeeds where many have failed of late: creating a fully formed antihero whom readers will want to meet again. (SHORTLIST)

Pelecanos is incapable of writing a book that isn't gripping, and the dialogue is of a brilliance comparable only with Elmore Leonard and George V Higgins. (THE TIMES)

a bloody, brooding thriller of rare authenticity. (Mark Sanderson EVENING STANDARD)

expertly crafted writing, pop-culture references ... and a plot that keeps twisting to the dramatic finale. (SHORTLIST)

This is gold-standard character-driven crime writing that few will ever match. I can't wait for the sequel. (Christopher Fowler FINANCIAL TIMES)

Pelecanos keeps readers on their toes with with a series of twists that confound stereotypes, drilling the plot along with breakneck prose, sassy dialogue and even shifting into a serious analysis at modern society in all its flawed glory. Exceptional. (THE BIG ISSUE)

The language, like the action, is brutal, fast and hard ... Stephen King describes Pelecanos as 'perhaps the greatest living crime writer' and The Cut certainly marks him out as a name to watch. In fact, he may just come to give Ellroy and Leonard a run for their money in the hard-boiled stakes. (DAILY MAIL)

Pelecanos, heir to Elmore Leonard's throne, has landed another short, sparkling masterpiece. What's more, The Cut is just the beginning of a planned series for tough, streetwise, mother's boy Spero Lucas. (THE MIRROR)

George Pelecanos writes hard-boiled fiction with heart (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

He's best known for writing acclaimed US TV show The Wire. But George Pelecanos has spent many years penning brilliant but under-appreciated crime novels set in Washington DC ... the dialogue, characters and sense of location are superb. Pelecanos is a Cut above the rest. (Natasha Harding THE SUN) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

The first in a stunning action-packed series from one of the writers of THE WIRE.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J.C.Coles on 7 Sept. 2011
Format: Hardcover
In THE CUT Pelecanos vividly describes not only the struggle of a returning vet coming to terms with rejoining society, but that of young men in the city in general trying to make a living whilst avoiding crime and violence. The writing is in his usual style that uses little adverbs or descriptive prose, but somehow manages to build up the picture for the reader through the actions and reactions of the main characters. The street life and action scenes are very realistic and the main character both believable in his flawed or guiltless motivation and likeable as a result.

Spero Lucas is a tough Iraq veteran who keeps himself super-fit and on return to Washington finds work with a disreputable defence attorney. Spero is trying to find direction on civvy street and whilst figuring this out uses his talents to recover debts for Tom Peterson's clients. Things get heavy when he is hired to protect drop money for a dangerous crime boss (like there's any other kind) and the bag-men are hit and he becomes chief suspect. Lucas uses his military training to avoid his pursuers and gather forces whilst trying to figure out who is behind it all.

Another great read from Pelecanos that has left me eager for the next!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Miles VINE VOICE on 31 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover
This shortish novel introduces Mr. Pelecanos' new character, Iraq veteran turned private investigator Spero Lucas. He's somewhat more of a man of action than Pelecanos more downbeat heroes -this is indicated in a neat bit of metafiction within a subplot set in an English Literature class, when the students stop reading Elmore Leonard and start on the hardboiled Donald E. Westlake - but otherwise this novel is everything we've come to expect from the author - a tightly plotted procedural, the working class DC setting, exhaustively detailed descriptions of clothes, food and cars, and of course the musical backdrop, Spero being a 70s reggae fan.

A justified criticism of Pelecanos work, I think, is that his heroes are all rather similiar. Like their author, their all deeply into pop culture, (often to a somewhat unlikely degree) fond of eating'half smokes' (whatever they are) at Greek cafes, have issues with their Fathers, etc. I'm not sure that Spero is different enough from Nick Stefanos to have been worthwhile creating, to be honest. But at least, as he's not an alcoholic, we're spared Pelecanos constant moralisising on that score (Though Spero's Mum has four glasses of wine on a Saturday night in order that Pelecanos can have a little tut-tut).

But I digress. Pelecanos has never written a bad novel, and 'The Cut' whilst not one of his very best, is certainly up there with the rest of his output. Recommended.
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Format: Paperback
THE CUT by George Pelecanos

A very unusual PI Spero Lucas. Doesnt confirm to the usual `image` of tough, (world weary) fictional Private Investigators. He seemed at times, rather nieve. But I half changed that impression, to one of learning the trade. I think in one or two instances in this story, luck was on his side. Yet we all need some of that in life. Possibily, because of the good years of his life, he spent serving in the Marines, Spero seems to adopt an almost juvenille attitude to the women in his life. Not so much an easy come, easy go, but always has his own pre-conceived values of how faithful, or not, he should be. He is loyal to his family. His deceased Father. His friends. And anyone that may have helped him. And his church. Where, in THE CUT, Spero visits often. He says a prayer for the deceased, several of which he has terminated himself. And I thought he was without fear. Until that last, really very good last page in the novel, where he confronts a very dark night time place. And walks right through it.
Its a good plot. Nothing too unusual for a novel of this genre. The action is limited, but there is always the threat of action. And, when it occurs, it is violent.
The story is peppered with street names and locations, in Washington DC, where the novel is set. I found it interesting to Google Earth some of these. Now I have read a Spero Lucas, and find myself oddly intruiged by his character, I shall read another.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By George Kelly on 18 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
The Cut is the first in a projected series of books, which centres around a new character called Spero Lucas; a former military man who is a private eye of sorts--although his speciality is that he finds things, and when he does, he requires a cut of forty percent. But, as with any book like this, Spero Lucas finds trouble and violence before anything else.

The plot is a straightforward one, with a couple minor twists and turns, but the book is strong as a whole. George Pelecanos is gradually progressing as a writer and improving with each of his novels. His prose and dialogue in places can be wooden, but only a line here and there--it's isolated rather than pandemic. His strength is in taking a scenario and injecting rawness and realness into it. His stories are vivid, realistic and atmospheric. There's almost a noir-ish feel to them.

The Cut isn't filled with overblown action sequences and cool plot twists and endless gunfights. It's tight and fast-paced and true.
And although it's not his best, it IS up there with some of his finer work. I recommend it if you want a gritty, street crime novel that's been wrapped in a convenient PI structure.

I'm looking forward to the next in the series.
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