Long before he became well known as a writer and producer for the justly-acclaimed television series The Wire, George Pelecanos had been writing some fine mysteries. This August, with The Cut, he’s introducing his newest character, Spero Lucas. An Iraq war vet, Lucas has set up an unlicensed investigation business in D.C.. He specializes in retrieving stolen property, taking forty percent cut of what he recovers. A crime boss, currently in jail awaiting trial, hires him to find several stolen packages for him. It seems like an easy job until the bodies start piling up.
Lucas at first seems like an idealistic young man, but he has a tough edge, honed by his years overseas at war. His multi-racial family grounds him when he gets carried away with his work. Pelecanos’s has created a compelling sort-of-hero, one who gets the job done but maybe doesn’t get the girl in the end. The sex and violence keep the pages turning right to the end, and I’m already looking forward to more.