George Pelecanos - The Cut (5 stars)

George Pelecanos - The Cut

An exemplary piece of work from the writer of The Wire

(Orion)

George Pelecanos has taken his foot off the novel-writing pedal recently to work in television, most notably on The Wire, but it’s good to have back ‘perhaps the greatest living crime writer’, according to Stephen King. And he’s not wrong, because The Cut is a simply terrific piece of lean, tight, no-messing noir fiction, an extraordinarily clear and distilled piece of storytelling that manages to weave subtle social commentary into serious action with great skill.

Spero Lucas is an Iraq veteran, an adopted Greek-American returned to Washington DC with a set of killing skills and no purpose. He does detective work for a local attorney, but can’t resist taking on some side work to retrieve missing marijuana packages for a major dealer. Needless to say, things get very complicated in a plot that manages to combine sharpness with depth, snappy dialogue with real resonance, and a breakneck pace with genuinely moving characterisation. An exemplary and robust piece of work.

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