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Whether they're cops or conmen, savage killers or creative types, gangsters or God-fearing citizens, George Pelecanos's 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's 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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Chris Owens on 01-25-15
Entertaining and gripping
Author has uncommon understanding of criminals and the pitfalls of street life. Particularly timely commentary of unintended racism in law enforcement and societal realities. I could have done with out all sexy talk in the last short story "Martini Shot".
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Sylvia on 01-07-16
Too much adolesent boy type grapic sex
Any additional comments?
Some of the stories were excellent, some just nice, then the pointless sex came in and seemed to go on forever. Wasn't even interesting, more like the writer left the room and his 14-year old son started adding every descriptive sex act his undeveloped imagination could come up with. If I wanted this stuff I'd just look under my teenager's bed.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful