Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Double

by George Pelecanos
292 pgs

When The Double, a painting valued at over $200,000, goes missing from Grace Kinkaid's residence, she realizes that she's been the target of an elaborate hoax. She realizes that the man she recently met and fell in love with was not who he claimed to be and that all along he only had eyes for her painting. Now she wants her painting back and to exact revenge on her ex-boyfriend, and she's willing to pay thousands of dollars for both.

She's introduced to Spero Lucas, a veteran from Iraq who now puts his unique skills to use finding things for people willing to pay. His methods usually fall outside the parameters of the law and the job Grace Kinkaid offers him is right up his alley.

I'm a really big fan of Pelecanos, and I enjoyed The Cut, the book that introduced Lucas a lot. But this one was a little disappointing. The story was interesting, but it felt like Pelecanos went out of his way to show that his new central character is not your stereotypical hero. He's conflicted and at times amoral, not unusual for one of his main characters. But Lucas falls for a married woman in The Double and their repeated rendezvous quickly became a distraction from the story and they never ended up adding any value to it. I'm hopeful Pelecanos will right the ship if he brings Lucas back a third time.

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

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