Short stories and a novella from one of crime fiction's most revered writers.
Whether they're cops or conmen,
savage killers or creative types, gangsters or God-fearing citizens,
George Pelecanos' characters are always engaged in a fight for their
lives. They fight to advance or simply to survive; they fight against
odds, against enemies, even against themselves. In this, his first
collection of stories, the acclaimed novelist introduces readers to a
vivid and eclectic cast of combatants.
A seasoned claims investigator
tracks a supposedly dead man from Miami to Brazil, only to be thrown off
his game by a kid from the local slum. An aging loser takes a last stab
at respectability by becoming a police informant. A Greek-American
couple adopts an interracial trio of sons and then struggles to keep
their family together, giving us a stirring bit of background on one of
Pelecanos' most beloved protagonists, Spero Lucas. In the title novella -
which takes its name from Hollywood slang for the last shot of the day,
the one that comes before the liquor shots begin - we go behind the
scenes of a television cop show, where a writer gets caught up in a
drama more real than anything he could have conjured for a script.
By turns heartbreaking and
humane, brutal and funny, these finely constructed tales expose the
violence and striving beneath the surface of any city and within any
human heart. Tough, sexy, fast-paced, and crackling with energy, The Martini Shot is Pelecanos at his very best.