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The Long Fallby Walter Mosley
Synopses & Reviews
His name is etched on the door of his Manhattan office: LEONID McGILL, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR. It’s a name that takes a little explaining, but he’s used to it. “Daddy was a communist and great-great- Granddaddy was a slave master from Scotland. You know, the black man’s family tree is mostly root. Whatever you see aboveground is only a hint at the real story.”
Ex-boxer, hard drinker, in a business that trades mostly in cash and favors: McGill’s an old-school P.I. working a city that’s gotten fancy all around him. Fancy or not, he has always managed to get by—keep a roof over the head of his wife and kids, and still manage a little fun on the side—mostly because he’s never been above taking a shady job for a quick buck. But like the city itself, McGill is turning over a new leaf, “decided to go from crooked to slightly bent.”
New York City in the twenty-first century is a city full of secrets—and still a place that reacts when you know where to poke and which string to pull. That’s exactly the kind of thing Leonid McGill knows how to do. As soon as The Long Fall begins, with McGill calling in old markers and greasing NYPD palms to unearth some seemingly harmless information for a high-paying client, he learns that even in this cleaned-up city, his commitment to the straight and narrow is going to be constantly tested.
And we learn that with this protagonist, this city, this time, Mosley has tapped a rich new vein that’s inspiring his best work since the classic Devil in a Blue Dress.
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"Mosley leaves behind the Los Angeles setting of his Easy Rawlins and Fearless Jones series (Devil in a Blue Dress, etc.) to introduce Leonid McGill, a New York City private detective, who promises to be as complex and rewarding a character as Mosley's ever produced. McGill, a 53-year-old former boxer who's still a fighter, finds out that putting his past life behind him isn't easy when someone like Tony 'The Suit' Towers expects you to do a job; when an Albany PI hires you to track down four men known only by their youthful street names; and when your 16-year-old son, Twill, is getting in over his head with a suicidal girl. McGill shares Easy's knack for earning powerful friends by performing favors and has some of the toughness of Fearless, but he's got his own dark secrets and hard-won philosophy. New York's racial stew is different than Los Angeles's, and Mosley stirs the pot and concocts a perfect milieu for an engaging new hero and an entertaining new series." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The best time to kill someone is when they're going through a door." This little tip reveals much — but not everything — about Leonid McGill, played-out private investigator and hero of "The Long Fall," the first novel in a new mystery series by Walter Mosley. After Easy Rawlins and Paris Minton, Mosley's best-known creations, McGill is a welcome conundrum. A detective in the classic noir style... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) — cynical, romantic, doomed — who exists not in the 1940s but in today's New York City, this African American boxer with a deceased communist father (hence Leonid) listens to the BBC and practices Buddhist meditation. But don't get nervous; there is nothing New Age about McGill's struggle to "go from crooked to only slightly bent." We meet McGill as he encounters the shiny, corporate world that has replaced his old New York. "It wasn't my skin color that bothered her," he observes of a Madison Avenue receptionist, "Juliet didn't like me because of my big calloused hands and no-frills suit." The plot that forces McGill uptown is both simple and tantalizingly opaque. He has been hired to track down four men, knowing only the street names they used as teenagers. His client won't say why he wants to find these men, but what does McGill care? It's a job. He delivers their current whereabouts. But when their bodies start showing up, it becomes clear that the original assignment was far from simple and that McGill may be next in line for elimination. Not that he hasn't seen it coming. "All the years I'd pulled the plug on men who maybe weren't angels," he admits. "That's why someone will kill me one day." In the meantime, there is McGill's loveless marriage, so convincingly portrayed that we feel voyeuristic; his teenage son's disturbing plan of revenge on a friend's father; and McGill's second assignment, this one from the mob. "I considered ... telling him without uttering the words that he was no longer welcome in my world," McGill says about the gangster who hires him. "But pushing Tony Towers away would be like sweeping a rattlesnake under the bed before retiring." Mosley cinches these plots elegantly together as he moves McGill between the worlds of new and old money and into the lives of crooks, cops and every species in between. We follow eagerly, seduced by Mosley's laconic style and by a newly arrived hero who seems to have been around forever. Reviewed by Anna Mundow, who is a literary columnist for the Boston Globe and a contributor to the Irish Times, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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A new mystery series from the author of the classic work "Devil in a Blue Dress" offers a new character, a new city, and a new era.
A Boston narcotic detective's search for his lost gun reveals a network of corruption and cover-up that reaches the highest levels of the city in this propulsive debut, first in an exciting new series in the tradition of Dennis Lehane and Robert Parker.
At crime scenes, Eddy Harkness is a human Ouija board, a brilliant young detective with a knack for finding the hidden something—cash, drugs, guns, bodies. But Eddys swift rise in an elite narcotics unit is derailed by the death of a Red Sox fan in the chaos of a World Series win, a death some camera-phone-wielding witnesses believe he could have prevented. Scapegoated, Eddy is exiled to his hometown just outside Boston, where he empties parking meters and struggles to redeem his disgraced family name.
Then one night Harknesss police-issue Glock disappears. Unable to report the theft, Harkness starts a secret search—just as a string of fatal accidents lead him to uncover a new, dangerous smart drug, Third Rail. With only a plastic disc gun to protect him, Harkness begins a high-stakes investigation that leads him into the darkest corners of the city, where politicians and criminals intertwine to deadly effect.
With a textured sense of place, a nuanced protagonist, and a story that takes off from page one and culminates in a startling finale, Third Rail has all the elements of a breakout mystery success.
The widely praised New York Times bestseller, and Mosley's first new series since his acclaimed Easy Rawlins novels...
Leonid McGill is an ex-boxer and a hard drinker looking to clean up his act. He's an old-school P.I. working a New York City that's gotten a little too fancy all around him. But it's still full of dirty secrets, and as McGill unearths them, his commitment to the straight and narrow is going to be tested to the limit...
About the Author
Walter Mosley is one of Americ‛s most celebrated and best known writers. His mysteries appear regularly on the New York Times Best Sellers list, and his books have been translated into more than twenty languages.
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