The Double
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The Double (Spero Lucas #2)

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  608 ratings  ·  125 reviews
Every man has his dark side...Spero Lucas confronts his own in the most explosive thriller yet from one of America's best-loved crime writers.

The job seems simple enough: retrieve the valuable painting--"The Double"--Grace Kinkaid's ex-boyfriend stole from her. It's the sort of thing Spero Lucas specializes in: finding what's missing, and doing it quietly. But Grace wants...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2013)
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Dan Schwent
While trying to clear a man for the murder of his mistress, Spero Lucas takes on another case, the case of a painting stolen by a woman's former lover. Further complicating things is a love affair Spero is having with a married woman. Can Spero recover The Double and survive his new lady love with his health intact?

First, the official business. I got this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for reviewing it. This new Kindle is quickly paying for itself.

The first Spero Lucas book, The Cut, was also my...more
Greg
I'm in a few week period where I can read anything I'd like, and I have been using that time to read new books that I am not necessarily all that excited for. For a change I decided, I'm going to read something I've been meaning to read and that I'll enjoy and life will be good. So I picked The Double, the newest novel by George Pelecanos, which I've been meaning to get around to for almost a year.

I only have an ARC, but the always wonderful Karen got it for me at last year's BEA and it's inscr...more
Jill
The Double, the latest novel by George Pelecanos, features a decent plot and some interesting characters. It is fast-paced and rather suspenseful. In this book, Pelecanos brings back his character Spero Lucas (previously featured in The Cut. Spero, just turned 30, is an Iraq war veteran who puts to good use his Marine training in his current occupation as an investigator for a criminal attorney in Washington, D.C. On the side, he has a business finding stolen property, whether legal or not, for...more
Raven
I am an avid fan of George Pelecanos and always look forward to this time of the year which holds the promise of a new book from him, so was as keen as mustard to read this follow-up to The Cut featuring ex-soldier and private investigator Spero Lucas. Unfortunately, The Double didn’t quite live up to my expectations, comprising mostly of sex, cycling, a bit of canoeing, sex, a murder investigation, sex and a missing painting, but here are my thoughts…

There can be no argument that Lucas is a won...more
Charity
Writing this makes me so sad, not liking this book makes me so sad, I was really looking forward to new Pelecanos and I am disheartened at how much I hated everything about this book. Nothing worked right, the pacing was off, how the characters were developed was clunky and much of the information felt like page filler serving no purpose, there are sex scenes that could be in the running for The Worst Sex Scene in Books of 2013, and nothing is gripping or page turning about it.
Mal Warwick
Few if any other American writers can capture the rhythms and speech patterns of inner-city streets as well as George Pelecanos. Best known as the lead writer and sometime producer on the celebrated HBO series “The Wire” and later on its successor, “Treme,” Pelecanos has also written 21 novels. The Double, his second outing with Iraq vet Spero Lucas, is his most recent book.

The adopted son of Greek immigrants, Lucas is 28. He is an ex-Marine haunted by his experiences of door-to-door fighting in...more
Larry Hoffer
I'd rate this 4.5, maybe even 4.75 stars.

George Pelecanos may be one of the finest crime writers around, but for reasons I can't quite figure out, he's not nearly as well-known as a number of less talented writers in the genre. While his work on the acclaimed television series The Wire has increased his name recognition a bit, it's a shame that more people aren't aware of the talent this man has to draw magnetic yet flawed characters, compellingly twisted plots, and crackling action.

His latest n...more
J.R.
The title refers to a painting, but it also links to the dual nature of man and, in particular, Spero Lucas, the protagonist of this novel.

Spero is a Marine veteran of Iraq who is trying to readjust to civilian life while continuing to live on the edge as an investigator and retriever of stolen property. When an emotionally damaged woman hires him to recover the stolen painting Spero is plunged into a maelstrom that will test both his courage and his opinion of himself.

Spero Lucas is a complicat...more
Melissa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Craig Pittman
A terse and effective thriller that slowly makes you aware that there's a lot more going on under the surface.

I've been a fan of Pelecanos' writing for quite some time now and have read nearly all of his other books (my favorite is still "The Sweet Forever" but plenty of others are great, including "Drama City" and "The Night Gardener"). He has a keen eye for the urban landscape around the District of Columbia and a knack for dialogue and action scenes. He's not afraid to tackle issues like race...more
Ray Palen
Throughout his career, George Pelecanos has produced some of the grittiest and effective crime noir in the business. Yet, for some unexplained reason, his novels typically take a back-seat to fellow genre writers like Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly.

Having written for independent film as well as the HBO series THE WIRE and TREME, Pelecanos has carved out a nice niche for himself. THE DOUBLE is standard Pelecanos. Set amid the back-drop of modern D.C. and featuring many recurring characters fr...more
Gloria Feit
In light of the disjointed activities in recent weeks in the nation’s Capital, the situations described in this novel, featuring Spero Lucas, who initially appeared in “The Cut,” to which this book is a follow-up, should not come as a surprise. Lucas, an ex-Marine, is an investigator for a defense attorney, and takes jobs on the side in which he finds things for people.

“The Double” of the title is a painting, stolen from a woman friend of a bartender who asks Lucas to retrieve it. What seems to...more
Craig
Another good book from Pelecanos, though we've gotten to the point now where they're starting to blur together (Jamee Lee Burke's David Robichaux novels elicit the same reaction from me). This is the second Spero Lucas novel, about a young Iraq war veteran turned investigator for a local defense attorney. Lucas takes on other jobs, too, including attempting to get back a fairly valuable painting ("the double" of the title) that was stolen from a middle-aged woman who suspects her overgrown beach...more
Tim
I enjoyed my first Spero Lucus read. This complicated character gets the job done in the best way he sees fit. The only negative was a bit of preachiness near the end that is best ignored. 8 of 10 stars
Robert Intriago
This is the second in the Spiro Lucas series. It is much better than the original in that it resembles some of Pelecano's earlier work: dark and violent. Spiro works on three different investigations and this leads him to confront some pretty bad characters. He uses an assorted group of friends to assist him in accomplishing his goals. The book contains some very graphic sexual scenes, which in my opinion were excessive and in cases not pertinent to the investigative story. The author uses some...more
Erik Dewey
Goodreads ate my previous review so this one will be a little briefer.

I gave this three stars only because the plot compelled me and I wanted to see how it ended. If it didn't, I would have given this book two stars.

I had some issues with the book. First, half of the time it read like a travelogue of DC. I appreciate that the city is kind of a character in the book, but it seemed like the main character couldn't travel anywhere without us knowing what streets he took and the history of the neigh...more
Kathleen Hagen
This is the second book in the new Spiro Lucas series. Spiro Lucas is a complicated young man with problems caused by having fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. He now has two careers. One is as a private investigator for a defense attorney-trying to find out things to show “reasonable doubt” in the cases of criminals he is defending. His second career is in finding and recovering things for people. He is hired by a young woman to find a painting that has been stolen from her. The theft was orchestr...more
Stephanie
Picked this up because the author has been cited by other authors I enjoy as a master of the genre. Maybe he is; certainly when he was good, he was very, very good. But I found most of the book to be...irritating. It's minor things that bothered me; why is he always dropping brand names? It's what I hate about "chick lit", constantly naming the brands of shoes and handbags and lipsticks. Here it was watches and shoes and suits and handguns. I could understand how specific makes of guns and cars...more
Daphne Durham
I dug it. Not sure it was the best first book to read by Pelecanos, but I now know I need to spend more time with Spero Lucas, certainly, and finally get around to reading the stack of Pelecanos books that have been sitting on my "retirement reading" shelf since THE NIGHT GARDENER came out.
Robert
I really wanted to like the Spero Lucas series of novels by this author. Unfortunately, this one is too "over the top for me." The main character and the other characters are just so despicable that it is tough to see the good of Spero, who himself has moral "problems " with his character as the novel develops. This is "FOR BOYS ONLY'" especially for undeveloped men in their relationships with women. I can't b believe any woman would continue to read this book after only a few pages. Misogyny ru...more
Matt
This is a book for men, by men, about men. Men with muscles, men with tattoos, men with guns, white men, black men, old men, young men—-so diverse is George Pelecanos’ world of men! The Double is the second in Pelecanos’ Spero Lucas series. Lucas is a DC private investigator. He’s an Iraq War vet, he’s tough, he’s cool, he has muscles, he reads books, he loves old movies, he’s true to his family and his man friends. (His personal taste in music, books, and movies is curiously the same as that of...more
David Graham
I read this in two to three days which is pretty good going for me these days with kids, job etc although the extra time over the Christmas holidays helped.

I really liked the first Spero Lucas book, 'The Cut' and gave it four stars but I loved this for a number of reasons.

First, of all, it is a brilliantly written book of this genre, essentially a troubled private investigator to use a short-hand description. More than just that, though, Pelecanos develops Lucas' character rather than taking the...more
Michael
I really like George Pelecanos' writing. He has a great feel for gritty street life which was really evident in "The Wire", his acclaimed HBO television series. But I think his attempt to serialize his new character Spero Lucas may sell him books but will drag him down to the level of other good writers who have chosen to use the same character over and over (eg., Michael Connelley). This is only the second Spero book but I already get the feeling that I don't need any more of him. I really like...more
Bill H.
One of the few authors I read straight through, even though the inevitable "pay-back" scenes are often have the same general line of action. Pelecanos gets you interested in those who are about to go down--also one of the elements that kept me glued to "The Wire," which he helped script. In Lucas, P. has created a young vet, turned PI, who handles different jobs (or different subplots) very well, with rough justice, though--as in classic noir--minor henchmen, professional hit men, and the fences...more
Carl
Spero Lucas, the protagonist of The Cut, is back in what seems slated to be a three-book arc. It's hard to imagine a Pelecanos novel that is not compellingly written, populated with imaginative grotesqueries just a stone's throw shy of Carl Hiaasen, and running at a breakneck pace. Once again, I ended up staying awake long past midnight to see how this one turned out.

And yet this is probably my least favorite among the eight or nine Pelecanos books I have read. There seems to be a whiff of liter...more
Roger
The second in the series of books about Spero Lucas. Wasn't crazy about the first book and the second was just a little better. Lucas seems to be a very one-dimensional character, but I can see Pelecanos attempting to expand his horizons and setting up future books in the series. Lucas has little conscience and is something of a vigilante, a Robin Hood of his day. He's also incredibly virile, although he shows a little weakness by falling for a married woman in this book. I will probably read th...more
Michael
My review originally ran in the 6/15/13 issue of Library Journal:

An Iraq War veteran, Spero Lucas takes work from a D.C. defense attorney who needs help securing reasonable doubt for his client; at the same time Spero freelances by retrieving stolen property, in this case an expensive painting, for a standard 40 percent recovery fee. As he hunts for the thieves, Spero also finds time for a torrid affair with a married woman. But longtime readers know the details of a Pelecanos thriller are never...more
Stephanie Patterson
I've read all of the novels of George Pelecanos and am having a great time watching him develop the Lucas Spero character. All around Spero are people that have been damaged by life. His buddies from the Iraq war talk about how they struggle, the women work hard to raise families, usually without a man present, and his mother drinks lots of wine to deaden the pain of his father's death.
Spero himself denies the impact that the war has had on him personally but begins to come to terms with the dam...more
DR
On second appearance by unsettled (and unsettling) Iraq War veteran Spero Lucas, one begins to suspect the good guy maybe is really a bad guy. It seems like the only thing separating this tightly-wound, discharged Marine from being a full-blown street vigilante is that he deliberately mixes his ultra-violent combat with criminals into an income-producing investigative job with a criminal defense attorney. His sideline business, recovering lost items of value (taking 40% of the value as his fee),...more
Ross Cumming
George Pelecanos is one of my favourite crime writers and you know exactly what you're going to get every time you open one of his books. Great characters, complicated plot, brilliant dialogue and hip references to music and clothes and this second Spero Lucas novel has it all.
Spero is an ex-marine now working as an investigator for a defence attorney while he also does some 'off the books' work as well. This story sees Spero investigating a homicide on behalf of the defence team, while also try...more
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George P. Pelecanos (born 1957 in Washington, D.C.) is an American author of detective fiction set primarily in the capital of the United States, Washington, D.C. He is also a film and television producer and a television writer. He has worked extensively on the HBO series The Wire. His novels use an ensemble cast of characters, following their exploits across several generations. While there are...more
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