Read: The Cut by George Pelecanos, 2011, 9780316078436 (paper).
Pelecanos was at Murder and Mayhem this year. I only attended on Friday evening and he was not there anyway. The guys from Mystery One Bookstore are always there. I always buy something from them since they give a lot of support to the event and host so many of the authors. I was looking through the offerings but there were no Victor Gischler comics. Since I read a good review of this novel I bought it.
Short version: Another Pelecanos tale about Greeks in D.C. involved in crime.
Long version: Greek guy in D.C. is back from Iraq and working as an investigator for a local attorney. Spero Lucas is not too sure what he wants for his future. Heck, Spero Lucas does not worry about his future at all. He is not interested in college or getting into a trade. Spero fell into "recovery" work when a gal complained that a boyfriend stole thousands of bucks worth of jewelry. Spero offered to get the stuff back and just said 40% when asked a fee. Since then he has gotten job offers and began working for a defense attorney.
Spero helps a kid get off on a stolen car charge and his marjuana wholesaler father asks Spero to recover a package of dope. The Wholesaler's underlings have dope FedExed to houses that are empty during the day. The Underlings pick the package off the porch right after the FedEx guy drives off. One package went missing and Spero is asked to find it.
Spero does not think long before taking the work. Spero dopes up himself and Wholesaler says how nonviolent and mellow he is. Spero works with Underlings to track. Spero questions neighbors. Spero finds things out. Spero casually dates and bones Lawyer's intern.
Spero misses his dad father. Spero visits his mother and brother. Underlings are murdered. Spero visits with fellow War on Terror infantry vets. Spero is not mentally or emotionally or physically disabled by the war. He is not edgy and short tempered. He is not a fictional stereotype.
Pelecanos tells tale from Bad Guys's point of view. Spero is found out by bad guys. Someone tries to kill Spero and he kills him, "Lucas felt nothing...Lucas entered his apartment, took a shower, got into bed, and fell to sleep. He had no dreams."
More things happen. Bad Guys are bad. Innocents are threatened. Spero steal back some of the cash from the lost marijuana. Spero recues a high school kid. Spero figures everything out.
1. Plenty of characters with character. Not kooky and quirky characters. Real people with real thoughts and concerns. Many of those concerns are the sociopath's "Me, me, me."
2. Odd details are repeated. Like the flickering fluorescent in the Bad Guy's garage bay. Spero's Jeep Wagoneer. Hatred between a father and his abandoned son. Must be a Pelecanos' thing.
3. D.C. geography love.
4. Menu and meal details love.
5. Brotherly love.
6. Spero feels he is still finding his way. He joined the Marines when he was young, fought in Iraq, and is only now sowing his oats and figuring what he wants from life.