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Fearless Jones (Fearless Jones Novel, No.1)

(Book #1 in the Fearless Jones Series)

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. Mosley returns to mysteries at last with his most engaging hero since Easy Rawlins. When Paris Minton meets a beautiful new woman, before he knows it he has been beaten up, slept with, shot at,...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

When Love Walked In

Fearless Jones is a thriller, yes, but it is also a story about friendship and courage. The novel is narrated by Paris Minton, a black bookstore owner in 1954 Watts. Minton is not a troublemaker and has a hard time understanding why his friend, war hero Fearless Jones, always seems to attract trouble. When trouble--in the person of Elana Love--arrives quite uninvited in Minton's own bookstore, though, understanding begins to dawn.No sooner has Love walked into Minton's life than he is brutally assaulted by her pursuer, then seduced, robbed, and abandoned by Miss Love herself. When Minton returns to his bookstore the next day, he finds it a pile of ash and rubble. Not knowing where else to turn, he finally relents and bails his friend Fearless out of jail. That's when the action really heats up.The plot is far too complex for me to try to boil down into a few short paragraphs, and that is one thing I love about Mosley's books. There is so much coming from all directions that there is no sense of a scenario manufactured for tidy wrap-up by page 300. The characters are also so well developed that you can imagine them going about their off-page lives even when Paris isn't around to tell us about it.As Paris and Fearless try to unravel the mess, it entangles them in the lives of a Jewish immigrant family, a chase after the spoils of war, a variety of fraudulent schemes, and a violent power struggle within a mysterious religious organization--the one Elana Love was looking for when she found Paris by mistake. They do manage to sort things out eventually, and that in itself is a fascinating adventure. Just as exciting, however, are the lessons in loyalty and betrayal.(adapted from a "Skullduggery" review)

Intriguing mystery with sharp social overtones.

Paris Minton is an unlikely protagonist for a mystery novel. An African American man, approaching middle age, he runs a used bookstore in a 1950s LA ghetto. He doesn't make much money from his business, but that's not why he has the shop. He just wants the chance to read his books and be left alone. That dream ends the day a beautiful woman named Elana Love walks in the door. "Fearless Jones" features an improbable hero, perhaps, but a classic setup for a hardboiled story. The comparisons to Mosley's brilliant Easy Rawlins series are natural and deserved. Both are set in similar times and deal with similar themes. The character of Paris Minton, though, adds a new dimension to the story. A thoughtful, literate man, he's not very handy with his fists, awkward with guns, and a patsy for a gorgeous woman. Most hard-boiled characters are just that: hard. Paris, though, is far softer than most, and more interesting for it. "Fearless Jones" once again demonstrates that Walter Mosley is one of the finest writers working today. His sharp eye for race relations, human nature, and the changing face of America would be excellent contributions to any novel. When added to a solid, engrossing mystery, they take his work to a higher level that few can match. Mosley is a treasure who should be read by all.

Being Black in the 1950s--powerful

Paris Minton has it made--he owns a used bookstore so he can read all day and he's one of the few black entrepeneurs in the 1950s Watts (Los Angeles). When a beautiful woman walks into his shop, though, he knows he is in trouble--and boy is he right.Fortunately, Paris has a friend who can deal with trouble. Once he bails Fearless Jones out of jail, he has a fighting chance and the two of them spend the rest of this fine novel battling for their lives, and trying to uncover the secret to a suspected multimillion dollar fortune.Author Walter Mosley does a wonderful job describing black life in the 1950s--where police brutality against blacks was expected and where driving with a white woman could get a black man lynched. Even better, Mosley develops two characters in Paris and Fearless who, although completely different, both pursue their goals of justice despite terrible obstacles.I found FEARLESS JONES to be a riveting mystery. The novel is not perfect--the mystery had a few loose ends I would have liked to see wrapped up, but these are minor quibbles that shouldn't interfere with the reader's enjoyment.Excellent and highly recommended.<P

NO-HOLDS-BARRED READING OF A RIVETING THRILLER

Rather than reprising his popular central character, Easy Rawlins, deft wordsmith Walter Mosley introduces an equally intriguing hero - Fearless Jones. Again, Mosley shines at depicting black characters struggling to survive in an inhospitable white world. When Paris Minton's book shop door opens and gorgeous Elan Love walks in, so does trouble. Paris is a laid back black man content to run his store in the Watts area of 1950s LA. He's ill prepared to deal with all the woes that beset him such as being used for gun shot practice, being robbed, and seeing his business go up in flames. There's little choice for Paris except to send an SOS to his war veteran buddy, Fearless Jones - a man who more than lives up to his sobriquet. The pair embark on a surprise riddled chase fraught with excitement and danger. TV and film actor Peter Francis James gives tension filled voice to this riveting thriller.

Mosley still has it!!

FEARLESS JONES, while a great book, is something of a misnomer when it comes to titling this novel. This book is more about a somewhat fearful Paris Minton.Paris Minton is a guy we all know. He's a guy who gets afraid when a much larger man threatens him. He's a guy who immediately determines a woman's desireability factor when he meets them for the first time. He's a guy, who though is thoughtful, sometimes acts before he thinks, to his detriment. He's a guy who hopes for a better tomorrow, while wondering how to get through today. He's a guy who makes mistakes, often wishes he could run from them, but struggles to correct them. He's a guy who is ... sometimes a little over confident, sometimes a little underconfident, and often self-deprecating.The mystery in this book is a good one. Often, it seems the mystery and plot take a back seat to social explorations of 1950's Los Angeles, but the book never lacks for those side journeys. Also, even though the mystery often plays a secondary role in this novel and some of the clues are easy to decipher, the payoff is as good, thrilling, and magnificent as anything you'll read this year.The characters in this book are frighteningly real. The situations presented gave me pause as I read them, as I pondered what I might do in those situations. The suspense is strong. The story centers around a fortune in stolen money, a sometimes missing woman, and Jewish/African-American relations. I don't want to say too much about the details of this novel, because I feel there is nothing greater than discovering the secrets of a great book. Exposing even minor details destroys tiny moments of joy for a book reader, and believe me, there are many pieces of joy within this book.If you are a Walter Mosley fan, you will cheer this book as an exemplary examply of his talents. If you are a mystery fan who has never read Mosley, you would do yourself a huge favor to pick this book, the first to feature these characters, to join the Walter Mosley bandwagon. If you like period novels, you owe it to yourself to experience this slice of Americana.Awestruck, Earl
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