cover image The Martini Shot: A Novella and Stories

The Martini Shot: A Novella and Stories

George Pelecanos. Little, Brown, $25 (304p) ISBN 978-0-316-28437-0

Edgar-finalist Pelecanos (Drama City) showcases his formidable skills in his first story collection. Among the standouts is the unforgettable “The Confidential Informant,” in which a Washington, D.C., man who lives in the shadow of his aging Vietnam vet father attempts to prove himself to the old man by helping the police “solve a homicide.” Fans of Pelecanos’s Spero Lucas series will welcome the emotionally charged “Chosen,” which fills in the back story of Lucas’s mixed-race family. In “The Dead Their Eyes Implore Us,” a raucous Depression-era story, a Greek immigrant gets mixed up with a corrupt Pinkerton agent. In the title novella, the life of Victor Ohanion—who, like Pelecanos, is a writer and producer for a cable TV crime show—begins to resemble his scripts after a set worker is murdered; Ohanion decides to settle the score. While these eight tales are not as deep as the author’s novels, the collection is still a winner. [em]Agent: Sloan Harris, ICM. (Jan.) [/em]