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The Cut by George Pelecanos
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Sep 01, 11

bookshelves: thrillers
Read in September, 2011

Pelecanos, George. THE CUT. (2011). ****.
I’ve always maintained that if you took away his street map of Washington, D.C. and forbid him to talk about musical groups that most of us never heard of, Pelecanos’ novels would end up being eight-page pamphlets. His latest thriller, featuring a new protagonist, Spero Lucas, an ex-Marine who fought in Iraq, is another case in point. The author knows how to write thrillers, though, and this is another one sure to become a best seller. Lucas works freelance, making his money by collecting whatever it is that people have had stolen from them and then taking 40% of its value as his fee for recovery. One day a lawyer friend, who hires him occassionally to do work for him, tells him that there is work for him. Unfortunately, the work comes from a man who is in jail for wholesaling marijuana. Somebody has been stealing his weed, a package at a time. In this case, a package is worth about $100,000 at street price. Lucas agrees to try and recover his employer’s drugs and, again, tells him his fee. Lucas quickly learns about where the drugs disappear to, but the knowledge comes at a price. The price is paid for in dead bodies and crooked cops. Lucas is pretty much a two-dimensional character, in spite of Pelecanos throwing in some family history and some narratives relating to Lucas’ unsuccessful love life with a variety of young women. Aside from the writing pattern and the planar nature of Lucas, this is still a book that you will read in a minimal number of sittings, because you want to see what happens next. Recommended.
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