© The Financial Times Ltd 2014 FT and 'Financial Times' are trademarks of The Financial Times Ltd.
August 26, 2011 9:56 pm
Cosmopolitan neighbourhoods are a Pelecanos speciality. He explores them, opens up the streets and peers inside the houses. What he finds are “Chinese greasepits, pawn shops, high-priced convenience markets and high-fee check cashing establishments, the kind of places that kept folks unhealthy, broke and low”. Their inhabitants are united in the fight to get by. In the midst of these is Spero Lucas, ex-marine, “a young man with appetites”, finding lost items for a defence attorney and getting in deep when he sets out to discover who has been taking a cut from a local drug drop.
A dense web of detail woven around family, friends, neighbours, bands and slang plants us clearly in Lucas’s life, making him someone to care about. Rather than merely surviving, Lucas enjoys the streets, acting as a guide to a world that, in less expert hands, would feel over-familiar from TV shows. This is gold-standard character-driven crime writing that few will ever match. I can’t wait for the sequel.
The Cut, by George Pelecanos, Orion, RRP£12.99, 304 pages
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2014. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.