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Extended Audio Sample The Cut Audiobook, by George P. Pelecanos Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,450 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: George P. Pelecanos Narrator: Dion Graham Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Spero Lucas Series Release Date: August 2011 ISBN: 9781609417925
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Spero Lucas has a new line of work. Since he returned home 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’ specialty hires him to find out who has been stealing from his operation. It’s the biggest job Lucas 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?

Spero Lucas is George Pelecanos’ greatest creation, a young man making his place in the world one battle and one mission at a time. The first in a new 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).

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Triple-distilled excellence…Not just recommended—this is essential reading.”

    Lee Child

  • “DC is as brilliantly drawn as the characters.”


  • “The start of a hot new series.”

    New York Times

  • “Spero Lucas is a terrific character.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Maintains a remarkably high level of intelligence and style.”

    Washington Post

  • “This coplike knowledge of the streets gives his novels authenticity…The Cut is getting rave reviews. His fans are a veritable Who’s Who.”

    USA Today

  • “A lean, swift, atmospheric detective novel…free of cliché, condescension, or illusion. An engagingly inspired character.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Pelecanos has excelled at character and plot… The characters and the Washington of The Cut are complicated and interesting.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “This is gold-standard character-driven crime writing that few will ever match.”

    Financial Times

  • The Cut isn’t so much a whodunit as a where-, what-, why-, and howdunit. There’s plenty of heft, but the book crackles with energy as it follows its sometimes hotheaded protagonist…The Cut is hard to put down, and it sticks with you when you do.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “Excellent…Both vital and timely, this remarkable novel also connects DC’s past and present as only Pelecanos does.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Award-winning actor Dion Graham infuses life into a large cast of characters that include Washington professionals, street punks, and Spero’s ex-military buddies…Fast moving and hard edged.”

    Library Journal

  • “His writing is masterful, and The Cut deserves a place among his best work, which, as his legions of readers well know, is high praise indeed.”


  • “Spero Lucas [is] an Iraqi War vet and a ‘young man with appetites,’ who has carved for himself a Travis McGee-like career of recovering stolen property…Pelecanos’ characters often speak of their love of classic westerns, and there have been more than a few showdowns at the OK Corral in his best work. We can feel another one coming here, too…Familar and right for Spero and also for Pelecanos’ fans.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “George Pelecanos knows detective fiction, and he knows Washington, DC. Both genre and setting play an integral part in his latest novel…Dion Graham shines in his narration…Graham’s voices and delivery of street slang are distinct and creative. Spero’s erudite and streetwise brother; a young, innocent student; and assorted friends and colleagues all come alive in the listener’s ear. Graham is exceptional in his portrayal of the psychopathic ringleader of a criminal enterprise. Here’s hoping Pelecanos brings Lucas back—with Graham as narrator.”


  • “Pelecanos’ many fans will be pleased with his new and fascinating protagonist and exploration of social and ethical issues. Graham’s narration is ideal; he is equally adept with both Caucasian and African American characters without approaching stereotypical speech patterns. In his representation of Lucas, his voice is soft and enticing, luring listeners into engaging with an intriguing new player in the world of crime fiction.”


  • “Another tough, heart-rending odyssey through a war zone in which every denizen has the potential to be both hero and villain.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rich Lawrence | 1/26/2014

    " Great book. Anything by George Pelecanos is worth reading.I always use Google Earth to follow the many locales he describes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy | 1/16/2014

    " Closer to 3.5 - This is my first Pelecanos, but I hope it won't be my last. This feels like something of a "little" novel and I mean that in a good way. There's not a lot of pyrotechnics here, but Pelecanos has a great feel for dialogue and character. Reading it reminded me of those lazy Saturday afternoons when you find a movie that will never set the world on fire, but is very satisfying. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alison | 12/25/2013

    " An excellent crime novel. I think I am going to have to watch The Wire since George Pelecanos was a writer and producer for that show. His writing feels extremely realistic. I really liked the character of Spero Lucas and hope that he will be in another book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alecia | 12/7/2013

    " George Pelecanos (who is a writer and producer of The Wire) has a very good ear for street dialogue. Therefore, his bad guys and good guys in his novel sound quite natural. The story is good, and his main character, Spero Lucas, an ex-marine-turned private investigator, is a good one. I especially loved that Lucas's brother Leo is teacher who has his kids reading, among others, The Hunter, a Parker novel. He quotes lines to his class about the description of Parker. This is a great way for Pelecanos to pay homage to Donald Westlake/aka Richard Stark. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peggy Boshears | 11/23/2013

    " As always I enjoyed this book very much. George Pelecanos is a terrific writer and he never disappoints. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 11/6/2013

    " Spero Lucas...he's got the confidence and street smarts of a seasoned "investigator" and the stamina and libido of the 29-year-old he is. A rather implausible character, perhaps, but the perfect charming tough guy to narrate some crime novels. This was a great plane read and I will certainly look for the next in the series, but I don't think I'd find it nearly as appealing if it weren't set on the streets that I walk, run and ride along every day. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rita Kay | 10/9/2013

    " Pelecanos is new to me, and He is beginning a new series starring Spero Lucas, a character whose analytic but low tech approach to solving a mystery appealed to me. I will look forward to more about this character. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sean McCoy | 4/12/2013

    " Terse. Plausible. A natural companion to Hammet or Child. Like a novel from The Wire. Loved it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Charly | 10/30/2012

    " Basic bad cop, Ex-Marine PI, crime story where innocent people survive and a lot of bad guys don't. Not a bad quick piece but not anything earth shaking either. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 9/25/2012

    " I had never read Mr. Pelecanos' work before but am glad I picked up this book. I liked his writing, which is evocative but sparse. Mr. Pelecanos uses his intimate knowledge of Washington, D.C. to outstanding use here. I found the characters believable and nuanced. It was a fast read, and enjoyable. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Crodosta | 8/30/2012

    " I got into CD 3 of a 6-CD audiobook version and quit. It dragged. I didn't care what happened to any of the characters. Time to move on-- "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Coki | 5/10/2012

    " a joy! interesting main character whose development I look forward to seeing, a solid plot, good characters all around, not preachy on the vet stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meg | 9/3/2011

    " a good read. really liked lucas - a strong character. pelecanos' dialogue here reminds me of john sandford's in the "prey" books - this book reminds me of those books period. "

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About the Author

George Pelecanos is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels set in and around Washington, DC. His works have earned him the Raymond Chandler Award in Italy, the Falcon Award in Japan, and the Grand Prix Du Roman Noir in France. He is also an independent-film producer, an essayist, and a producer and Emmy-nominated writer of the HBO hit series The Wire. He currently writes for the acclaimed HBO series Treme. He lives with his family in Silver Spring, Maryland.

About the Narrator

Dion Graham, from HBO’s The Wire, also narrates The First 48 on A&E. Winner of more than a dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for best narration, he has performed on Broadway, off Broadway, internationally, in films, and in several hit television series. His performances have been praised as thoughtful and compelling, vivid and full of life.