Spero Lucas has a new line of work. Since he returned home to Washington, D.C. 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's specialty hires him to find out who has been stealing from his operation. It's the biggest job Spero 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?
The first in a 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)
Rich with details of place and time - the cars, the music, the clothes - and fueled by non-stop action, this is Pelecanos writing in the hard-boiled noir style that won him his earliest fans and placed him firmly in the ranks of the top crime writers in America.
The job seems simple enough: retrieve the valuable painting--"The Double"--Grace Kinkaid's ex-boyfriend stole from her. It's the sort of thing Spero Lucas specializes in: finding what's missing, and doing it quietly. But Grace wants more. She wants Lucas to find the man who humiliated her--a violent career criminal with a small gang of brutal thugs at his beck and call.
Lucas is a man who knows how to get what he wants, whether it's a thief on the run--or a married woman. In the midst of a steamy, passionate love affair that he knows can't last, in pursuit of a dangerous man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, Lucas is forced to decide what kind of man he is--and how far he'll go to get what he wants.
Thirty five years later, one survivor of that day reaches out to another, opening a door that could lead to salvation. But another survivor is now out of prison, looking for reparation in any form he can find it.
THE TURNAROUND takes us on a journey from the rock-and-soul streets of the '70s to the changing neighborhoods of D.C. today, from the diners and auto garages of the city to the inside of Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital, where wounded men and women have returned to the world in a time of war. A novel of fathers and sons, wives and husbands, loss, victory and violent redemption, THE TURNAROUND is another compelling, highly charged novel from George Pelecanos, "the best crime novelist in America." -Oregonian
One day on the job, Chris and his partner come across a temptation almost too big to resist. Chris does the right thing, but old habits and instincts rise to the surface, threatening this new-found stability with sudden treachery and violence. With his father and his most trusted friends, he takes one last chance to blast past the demons trying to pull him back.
Like Richard Price or William Kennedy, Pelecanos pushes his characters to the extremes, their redemption that much sweeter because it is so hard fought. Pelecanos has long been celebrated for his unerring ability to portray the conflicts men feel as they search and struggle for power and love in a world that is often harsh and unforgiving but can ultimately be filled with beauty.
"Those in the know read Pelecanos." - Michael Connelly, #1 bestselling author of the Harry Bosch and Lincoln Lawyer series
Derek Strange is black and successful. Terry Quinn is white and barely holding on. Now Strange has been hired to investigate a police shooting in which Quinn played a major role. For Strange, a savvy and careful man, the investigation goes against his style and instinct. For Terry Quinn, Strange's questions are a chance to absolve his conscience and shake out a little truth. But in a city that lives in the shadow of a nation's dream, neither man can foresee the dirty little war that will break out around them...or how deadly being right can be.
The crime novels of George Pelecanos are unrivaled for their authenticity, edginess, and humanity. With Washington, D.C.-the city, not the capital-as his backdrop, Pelecanos explores a violent landscape of drugs and danger, loyalty and love.
Combining inimitable neighborhood flavor, action scenes that rank among the best in fiction, and a clear-eyed view of morality in a world with few rules, "Hell to Pay" is another Pelecanos masterpiece for his ever-expanding audience to savor.
Private Investigator Derek Strange and his partner, Terry Quinn, are running a detective business in the seedy underbelly of Washington, DC when they are approached by a young man asking them to find his girlfriend who has gone missing. And so Strange and Quinn find her.
Just another day? Not quite. In the grimy underworld inhabited by Strange, nothing is that simple. For Strange and Quinn's efforts have led to a young mother being brutally murdered--a devastating discovery that causes them both to question the morality by which they live. And yet at the same time they need to continue the search for another missing girl, a teenage runaway who shows up in a porn video. And who hasn't been seen since.
Step by step, Strange and his partner are drawn into the darkness, confronting gunrunners, crime lords, drug dealers, and ordinary people caught up in the ruthless violence of the business. Soul Circus is a heart-stopping thriller that could only have been written by George Pelecanos, the writer who "has gone from cult favorite to acknowledged master" (Booklist).
In his third appearance in George Pelecanos's acclaimed series, Nick Stefanos has been spending too much time with bad women and bad booze. Which is why he wakes up one blurry morning on the banks of the Anacostia River, hungover and miserable--and now a witness to a murder. With the help of a partner as straight-arrow as Nick is bent, Nick decides to track down the killer, an investigation that leads them through the roughest part of the nation's capital, and into the blackest parts of the human soul.
A wealthy Pasadena widow with a mean streak, a missing daughter-in-law with a past, and a gold coin worth a small fortune—the elements don't quite add up until Marlowe discovers evidence of murder, rape, blackmail, and the worst kind of human exploitation.
"Raymond Chandler is a star of the first magnitude." Erle Stanley Gardner
"Raymond Chandler has given us a detective who is hard-boiled enough to be convincing . . . and that is no mean achievement." --The New York Times
Written at the beginning of his career and originally published in American magazines only, these stories give us a taste of MacDonald's early achievements and show the range of his skill in the realm of mystery and thriller writing.
'Sharp, taut, realistic ... an impressive selection' Times
Spenser is..."Tougher, stronger, better educated, and far more amusing than Sam Spade, Phil Marlowe, or Lewis Archer...Spenser gives the connoisseur of that rare combination of good detective fiction and good literature a chance to indulge himself." --The Boston Globe
From the Paperback edition.
Spenser's job is to keep Candy healthy until she breaks the biggest story of her career. But her star witness has just bowed out with three bullets in his chest, two tough guys have doubled up to test Spenser's skill with his fists, and Candy is about to use her own sweet body as live bait in a deadly romantic game--a game that may cost Spenser his life.
From the Paperback edition.
In noir master Raymond Chandler's The Little Sister, a movie starlet with a gangster boyfriend and a pair of siblings with a shared secret lure private eye Philip Marlowe into the less than glamorous and more than a little dangerous world of Hollywood fame. Chandler's first foray into the industry that dominates the company town that is Los Angeles.
A hotshot reporter is dead. He'd gone to take a look-see at “Miami North”—little Wheaton, Massachusetts—the biggest cocaine distribution center above the Mason-Dixon line.
Did the kid die for getting too close to the truth . . . or to a sweet lady with a jealous husband?
Spenser will stop at nothing to find out.
Praise for Robert B. Parker's Spenser novels
“Like Philip Marlowe, Spenser is a man of honor in a dishonorable world. When he says he will do something, it is done. The dialogues zings, and there is plenty of action . . . but it is the moral element that sets them above most detective fiction.”—Newsweek
“Crackling dialogue, plenty of action and expert writing . . . Unexpectedly literate—[Spenser is] in many respects the very exemplar of the species.”—The New York Times
“They just don’t make private eyes tougher or funnier.”—People
“Parker has a recorder’s ear for dialogue, an agile wit . . . and, strangely enough, a soupçon of compassion hidden under that sardonic, flip exterior.”—Los Angeles Times
“A deft storyteller, a master of pace.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Spenser probably had more to do with changing the private eye from a coffin-chaser to a full-bodied human being than any other detective hero.”—The Chicago Sun-Times
“[Spenser is] tough, intelligent, wisecracking, principled, and brave.”—The New Yorker
From the Paperback edition.
Appie Knoll is the kind of suburb where kids grow up right. But something is wrong. Fourteen-year-old Kevin Bartlett disappears. Everyone thinks he's run away -- until the comic strip ransom note arrives. It doesn't take Spenser long to get the picture -- an affluent family seething with rage, a desperate boy making strange friends...friends like Vic Harroway, body builder. Mr. Muscle is Spenser's only lead and he isn't talking...except with his fists. But when push comes to shove, when a boy's life is on the line, Spenser can speak that language too.
"A brillant, and cynical, comic tragedy or tragic comedy of manners. Long may Parker wave." -- Los Angeles Times
Is Marty throwing fast balls or throwing games? It doesn't take long for Spenser to link Marty's performance with Linda's past...or to find himself trapped between a crazed racketeer and an enforcer toting an M-16.
America's favorite pastime has suddenly become a very dangerous sport, and one wrong move means strike three, with Spenser out for good!
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
With a contract out on his life, he heads for the Maine woods, determined to give a puny 15 year old a crash course in survival and to beat his dangerous opponents at their own brutal game.
From the Paperback edition.
In noir master Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye, Philip Marlowe befriends a down on his luck war veteran with the scars to prove it. Then he finds out that Terry Lennox has a very wealthy nymphomaniac wife, whom he divorced and remarried and who ends up dead. And now Lennox is on the lam and the cops and a crazy gangster are after Marlowe.
Philip Marlowe's about to give up on a completely routine case when he finds himself in the wrong place at the right time to get caught up in a murder that leads to a ring of jewel thieves, another murder, a fortune-teller, a couple more murders, and more corruption than your average graveyard.
A dying millionaire hires private eye Philip Marlowe to handle the blackmailer of one of his two troublesome daughters, and Marlowe finds himself involved with more than extortion. Kidnapping, pornography, seduction, and murder are just a few of the complications he gets caught up in.
A treasure worth killing for. Sam Spade, a slightly shopworn private eye with his own solitary code of ethics. A perfumed grafter named Joel Cairo, a fat man name Gutman, and Brigid O’Shaughnessy, a beautiful and treacherous woman whose loyalties shift at the drop of a dime. These are the ingredients of Dashiell Hammett's iconic, influential, and beloved The Maltese Falcon.