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Reviewed by Stephen Brayton for Readers' Favorite
Ex Marine and Iraq vet Spero Lucas works as an investigator for a Washington, D.C. defense attorney. He also has a side business finding lost items for people. Drug runner Anwan Hawkins, in jail awaiting trial, hires Lucas to find two shipments of marijuana stolen from drop-off sites. Lucas discusses the problem with Hawkins’ employees, who are laid back and easy going. The picture quickly changes. Lucas must use his intelligence and various contacts because the stakes have been raised and the people he is up against are serious about keeping him from receiving his ‘cut.’
This is the first in a new series featuring Lucas. However, if you have read "Pelecanos" before you know what to expect. Straight forward, no extraneous detail. The urban culture is presented as ‘It is what it is.’ He puts a lot of emphasis on music, food, alcohol, and books. The details are basic and not lavish. There is no hype, no flash, no sensationalism, but with "The Cut" you don’t mind. If the protagonists from his stories all gathered in the same room, you’d find many similarities. If the bad guys are met, you’d find they were cut from the same cloth. In "The Cut", as also in other "Pelecanos" books, the good guys aren’t one hundred per cent good. There is a little grey in the white hats. The villains are realistic and you can see the streak of fatalism running through them. I tend to view "Pelecanos" stories as ‘A Day in the Life of’ or time elapsed snapshots of a chapter out of the lives of the characters, with a little flavor and spice added to keep it interesting.