cover image The Cut

The Cut

George Pelecanos. Little, Brown/Reagan Arthur, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-316-07842-9

Pelecanos's excellent first in a new crime series introduces Spero Lucas, a 29-year-old Iraq War vet who does investigative work for a Washington, D.C., defense attorney. Anwan Hawkins, an imprisoned marijuana dealer who has taken notice of Lucas's cool, efficient work, offers him a cut of the proceeds if he can recover several large stolen marijuana shipments. Though Lucas is in some ways an idealistic young man, he's no innocent. He accepts Hawkins's deal, a choice that nearly destroys him. As the body count mounts, Pelecanos (The Night Gardener) provides glimpses of Lucas's multiracial family, from his adoptive parents to his three siblings, two of whom are African-American. In the end, the group of hardened criminals responsible for the theft, including a former D.C. cop, set their sights on Lucas and those close to him. Both vital and timely, this remarkable novel also connects D.C.'s past and present as only Pelecanos does. Readers will want to see a lot more of Lucas. (Aug.)