Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Cut by George Pelecanos

The Cut.
By George Pelecanos, read by Dion Graham. Hachette Audio, unabridged. 9781609417918. 6 CDs, 7.5 hrs. $30.
Pelecanos launches a new series with The Cut as he introduces Spero Lucas, a private investigator working for a defense attorney. Lucas is 29, a veteran of the Iraq War. It’s important to know Lucas’ background as an adopted child, close to one brother, Leo, who is a teacher. His father is dead, and Lucas visits him more often at the cemetery than he does his living mother. He’s streetwise, with a mental map of the streets of Washington, D.C. He’s emotionally immature at times, having missed his twenties while he served in Iraq as a Marine. But, Spero Lucas is perfectly capable of handling himself in any situation, and he has friends who have his back.

It was a case for Tom Peterson that first put Spero in contact with Anwan Hawkins, a drug dealer in the D.C. jail awaiting trial. Peterson was defending Hawkins’ son, David, a kid who stole a car, and was picked up on a number of charges. When Lucas was able to find evidence to get the boy off, Hawkins asked to meet with him. Anwan was still handling his business from inside, and some of his packages of marijuana went missing. Hawkins asked Lucas to recover those packages, saying he was just a businessman asking him to find his lost inventory. When he talks to his brother, Leo knows Lucas has already made up his mind to take the job. Spero admits he likes the work, likes the money, and he likes the action. The deaths and threats that follow Lucas’ investigation put him right in the middle of the action, wondering if his cut is worth it.

Dion Graham’s reading of Pelecanos’ The Cut is perfect. His narration is abrupt, providing the story with the hard-nosed, streetwise attitude that is appropriate. Pelecanos’ knowledge of D.C. is evident with the emphasis on streets and directions, an emphasis that comes through in listening to the production. This production of The Cut successfully launches a new series for the author who owns the streets of D.C.

George Pelecanos' website is

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me the cd set, hoping I would review it.


Liz V. said...

I have a stack of Pelecanos books accumulated by my husband. Time to start reading them it seems.

Lesa said...

Hope you enjoy them, Liz. Your husband must have, if he accumulated them.

Anonymous said...

Just started reading this book yesterday. It's excellent! Not only a decent plot, but very well written. I'll be back for more!

Beth Hoffman said...

This sounds really good! Yet another one to add to my list. Thanks, Lesa!

Bev Stephans said...

I have read all of George Pelecano's early works, but I got away from him for awhile. This book sounds like I might try it as there is a new character. Good place to start.

Lesa, how savvy of you to review the audiobook. I've been considering some audiobooks (old eyes aren't what they used to be) and this might be the place to start. Even though I've have read all of them, I'm considering Louise Penny's audiobooks as I understand the reader is outstanding.

Great review as always!

bermudaonion said...

My husband's not much of a reader, but he loved this book!

Lesa said...

Thanks, everyone. And, Bev? Wasn't savvy of me at all. I review for a journal who asked me to review some audios, and they had it sent to me. But, you're right about Louise Penny's new one. It's worth listening to. Great reader!