Synopses & Reviews
Short stories and a novella from one of crime fiction's most revered writers.
Whether they're cops or conmen, savage killers or creative types, gangsters or God-fearing citizens, George Pelecanos' characters are always engaged in a fight for their lives. They fight to advance or simply to survive; they fight against odds, against enemies, even against themselves. In this, his first collection of stories, the acclaimed novelist introduces readers to a vivid and eclectic cast of combatants.
A seasoned claims investigator tracks a supposedly dead man from Miami to Brazil, only to be thrown off his game by a kid from the local slum. An aging loser takes a last stab at respectability by becoming a police informant. A Greek-American couple adopts an interracial trio of sons and then struggles to keep their family together, giving us a stirring bit of background on one of Pelecanos' most beloved protagonists, Spero Lucas. In the title novella - which takes its name from Hollywood slang for the last shot of the day, the one that comes before the liquor shots begin - we go behind the scenes of a television cop show, where a writer gets caught up in a drama more real than anything he could have conjured for a script.
By turns heartbreaking and humane, brutal and funny, these finely constructed tales expose the violence and striving beneath the surface of any city and within any human heart. Tough, sexy, fast-paced, and crackling with energy, The Martini Shot is Pelecanos at his very best.
Praise for THE DOUBLE:
"It's astonishing all the good stuff Pelecanos can pack into one unpretentious book that make the story so rich."--Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
"Pungent, funny dialogue...believable black-and-white friendships...outstanding scene-setting...The Double is fast-paced, its villains feel fresh...Call me a hard-core Pelecanos junkie."--Jocelyn McClurg, USA TODAY
"The author laces his story with vivid descriptions of Washington's changing urban landscape. The writing is taut, the violence is graphic and the characters are so well-drawn that they step off the page and into your life. The Double is as good as it gets."--Bruce DeSilva, Associated Press
Praise for THE CUT:
"The writing is spare; the dialogue rings with authenticity; and walking D.C.'s mean streets with Lucas is the next best thing to being there. Easily the best crime novel I've read this year."--Hallie Ephron, Boston Globe
"Pelecanos at his best...The Cut crackles with energy."--Dan DeLuca, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Every time I read one of George Pelecanos's novels, I'm left a little awed...The guy's a national treasure."--Dennis Lehane
"A lean, swift, atmospheric detective novel...The characters-good-hearted, ill-intentioned or in between-are shown by Mr. Pelecanos with loving clarity, free of cliché, condescension or illusion. Spero Lucas is an engagingly layered character...The Cut is a resourceful and notably original work the delivers the thrills of an action movie and the poignancy of fine storytelling."--Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal
About the Author
George Pelecanos is the bestselling author of nineteen novels set in and around Washington, DC. He is also an independent film producer, and a producer and Emmy-nominated writer on the HBO series The Wire and Treme. He lives in Maryland.