George Pelecanos’s THE CUT
It has been almost two years since I last read a Pelecanos novel and I loved being reminded why I rate him as one of my favorite writers. His writing is so distinctive and the world he immerses you in so real I am in reading nirvana when I have a Pelecanos novel.
George Pelecanos is responsible for me falling in love with crime fiction and showing me there is more to the genre than “whodunit”. I like to think he opened my eyes to “whydunit” and the whole social and political aspect to crime fiction that often gets overlooked by “literary” reviewers and prize judges. If it wasn’t for George Pelecanos I would never have discovered Laura Lippmann or Dennis Lehane (a poorer reader I’d have been). More importantly the sole reason I sat down to watch an unknown crime series in the middle of the night, starring nobody I’d heard of, without any media fanfare, was because I knew he was a writer on the show. I can’t imagine never discovering THE WIRE, a TV show I make sure I revisit at least once a year and am totally in awe of. David Simon’s genius is a blog post for another time ( you can read P.M. Newton’s, author of THE OLD SCHOOL, brilliant blog post here). But I will say if David Simon is the brains behind THE WIRE (and that is a gross understatement) then George Pelecanos is the heart. If you are a fan of THE WIRE and haven’t Pelecanos all I will say to you is Dennis ‘Cuddy’ Wise.
Television writing has not distracted Pelecanos from his novel-writing it has enhanced it and THE CUT is up there with his finest work. Pelecanos’s has built on his classic characters, Derek Strange and Nick Stefanos, to create his best to date. Another amazing novel from a consistently amazing writer.