I took a sharp detour from reading my usual cozy mystery genre to venture into the dark underbelly of crime, violent characters, urban decay and deceitful treachery of the noir genre. The 39th installment in the Spenser series by the late Robert B. Parker, Sixkill introduces Zebulon Sixkill, an American Indian whom Spenser takes on as an apprentice. Parker's Spenser series is always dependably engrossing and well-written and Sixkill will not disappoint fans.
Next, I read George Pelecanos' The Cut, the first in a new series featuring investigator Spero Lucas. Spero is an Iraq vet and D.C. native who works for a local lawyer and takes his own cases recovering lost property. Fans of TV's the Wire and Treme, written by Pelecanos, will know to expect a very dark view of humanity and lots of heart-wrenching violence. Despite the fact that I don't generally read or particularly like violent novels, The Cut held my attention and I finished it despite an incredibly graphic and disturbing murder scene which made me want to quit reading altogether. Fans of Michael Connelly will like Pelecanos' books. Washington, DC natives will recognize the local landmarks, schools, restaurants and haunts that only natives are familiar with. This is not the DC of people who live in Georgetown and the northwest section of Northwest and who come and go with political jobs. It's the DC of rabid Redskins fans and people who know how to get around without ever using the Beltway.
Robert B. Parker