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Extended Audio Sample The Cut, by George 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 Pelecanos Narrator: Dion Graha Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Spero Lucas Series Release Date:
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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 USA Today Bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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