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The Cut

Book 1, Spero Lucas

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


Crime fiction writer George Pelecanos introduces Spero Lucas, an anti-hero making his place in the world one battle at a time. Includes a bonus work of short fiction focusing on Spero's early life.
Spero Lucas has a new line of work. Since he returned home to Washington, D.C. after serving in Iraq, he has been doing special investigations for a defense attorney. He's good at it, and he has carved out a niche: recovering stolen property, no questions asked. His cut is forty percent.
A high-profile crime boss who has heard of Lucas's specialty hires him to find out who has been stealing from his operation. It's the biggest job Spero has ever been offered, and he quickly gets a sense of what's going on. But before he can close in on what's been taken, he tangles with a world of men whose amorality and violence leave him reeling. Is any cut worth your family, your lover, your life?
The first in a series of thrillers featuring Spero Lucas, The Cut is the latest confirmation of why George Pelecanos is "perhaps America's greatest living crime writer." (Stephen King)

From Publishers Weekly

May 30, 2011 – 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.

Customer Reviews


A great read. The elements of the story fall together seamlessly along with Spero and his well developed character. Of less interest to some is the great description of places in D.C. (Kinda a bonus for me as I lived on Clifton St some years ago.)

The Cut

Not sure what all the hype is about this book. Based on the many rave reviews and the author's apparent attempt to make it required reading for a high school literature class, I must have missed something very obvious. I've never read so many pages filled with street directions and repeat information. What was the point? Perhaps the course instructor required a minimum number of words for this assignment. I thought the book was disappointing and followed the standard formula for a series.

Deacon Dukes

The Cut

Like Leonard, Pelecanos hears the way the world speaks better than 99% of writers. Also like Leonard, he understands what makes people do the things they do. His protagonist in The Cut is fascinating and unapologetically violent when he needs to be. As a former Marine, Spero Lucas refuses to leave his enemies behind him where they could one day hurt. The only criticism I have is the amount of narration Pelecanos gives us. At times the novel read like a synopsis he was sending to his agent more than a real world inhabited by real people. Still, I give five stars because I can't help myself. I'm a unabashed Pelecanos groupie.

Other Books in This Series

The Double
The Cut
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Mysteries & Thrillers
  • Published: Aug 29, 2011
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Seller: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Series: Book 1, Spero Lucas
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings