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Paperback Known to Evil Book

ISBN: 0297860488

ISBN13: 9780297860488

Known to Evil

(Book #2 in the Leonid McGill Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good


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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. "The newest of the great fictional detectives" ( Boston Globe ) from the New York Times bestselling author of the Easy Rawlins novels. When New York private eye Leonid McGill is hired to check up on a...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

One Of the Best of the Year

Walter Mosley made the difficult decision a few years back to stop writing about the literary creation that made him famous: Easy Rawlins, the unconventional black private eye from Los Angeles. He instead introduced a new detective series set in contemporary New York featuring a middle-aged black man named Leonid McGill. THE LONG FALL, the first installment in the series, released in 2009. KNOWN TO EVIL, the second McGill book, confirms what longtime readers of this author have long known: Mosley is one of our best writers, not just of crime fiction but of all genres. The challenge he faced was to write a detective novel relevant to the America of the early years of the 21st century. The detectives created by Hammett and Chandler, and even late 20th-century writers like Ed McBain and Robert B. Parker, were products of the last century, as great and enjoyable as those characters were. Mosley's McGill bares little resemblance to those earlier heroes. McGill is a likable character, but he has lived his life in a sea of corruption. He worked as a freelancer fixer for the mob, and anybody else who could pay, and freely admits to spending 20 years involved in criminal activity. "I framed these lowlifes for crimes that other crooks needed to get out from under --- all for a fee, of course," he says early on. One cop, upon meeting McGill for the first time, says, "They say you got your finger in every dishonest business in the city." At 54, McGill has not exactly seen the light but is seeking some sort of redemption. In his midlife crises, he is wracked by guilt and relentless headaches over his past. He says, "Innocent or not, anyone can be made to look bad. And I had enough skeletons in my closet to make a death row inmate seem angelic. But I wasn't worried... just overwhelmed by the circumstances of my life." And what a life! Married for 23 years, with 20 of them marked by mutual infidelity, father to children not his own, and convinced he drove away the one woman he loved, McGill is alone, even when he is surrounded by family. While struggling to stay straight, his past is always present. When a powerful New York political fixer needs a job done, McGill is not in a position to say no. Alfonso Rinaldo is the unofficial, unelected "special assistant to the City of New York." He is not an assistant to the mayor but to the entire city somehow --- the power behind the powers. He needs McGill to check up on a mysterious young woman, but no further details are forthcoming. McGill goes to an address and literally walks into a double homicide with the bodies still warm. Now McGill has a real problem. Is he finally being set up himself? The cops are thrilled to see McGill stumble onto their crime scene. Various members of the NYPD have been looking for something to nail him on for years. McGill can't mention Rinaldo's name to the cops or else he will be in even deeper trouble. When it turns out that neither victim was the young woman, Rinaldo insists that

Two for Two

This is the second Walter Moseley novel I have read so far, and I am hooked. I'm only on Chapter 11 but I can't seem to put it down. Leonid is still in the midst of compromise I see, between his son who doesn't love him and th eson he loves but isn't his, Katrina his wife only by name, Aura his true love, and dealing with his new case for Alphonse. Let's not forget this new girl Lisa, I have a feeling I haven't seen the last of her. All the rave is worth it! If you're not much of a reader or not sure what to read I dare you start with Moseley's The Longest Fall and go from there!

Walter Mosley Has the Right Rhythm in the Second Book of the Leonid McGill Mysteries

"For My people are foolish, They have not known Me. They are silly children, And they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, But to do good they have no knowledge." --Jeremiah 4:22 (NKJV) Known to Evil is the second mystery in the Leonid McGill series, featuring the former "anything goes" fixer and Private Investigator for "anyone who will pay." In The Long Fall, Walter Mosley lovingly developed a most unusual anti-hero, a deeply fallen man who is trying to redeem himself, but is constantly pulled back into the muck of his past. With the character now well established, Known to Evil has a better pacing and doesn't try so hard to update Raymond Chandler. As a result, I thought Known to Evil worked quite well . . . floating forward like the surging rhythms and alternating solos of good jazz. As the book opens, Leonid is still at odds with his wife and cannot resist the call to serve the city's most powerful political fixer, Alphonse Rinaldo. Leonid does decide to put some limits on the assignment, hoping to avoid a bloody body count that would leave his hands covered in gore. No sooner does he start the assignment, to check on a young woman, Tara Lear, than everything goes badly wrong. There are two corpses where Lear is supposed to be. Life quickly becomes even more complicated. On the home front, Katrina, Leonid's wife, has a sudden need to discuss their marriage. In addition, his two "sons" disappear, putting one of them at risk for incarceration. A young woman he saved from a horrible life returns and needs a job. Will he hire her? At the office, his lover has sent Leonid packing, and he's torn apart by seeing Aura Ullman with her new man. Like a one-armed paper hanger, Leonid finds himself balancing all these problems (and a few more that develop along the way) while trying to save everyone he can . . . including himself. It's quite a challenge, and one that you'll enjoy following, I'm sure. The writing is wonderful, especially for setting the scene and capturing emotion. Here's a gem from the book's opening: "Standing up in my chair and moving into the hallway, I felt as if I were displaced, another man, or maybe the same man in a similar but vastly different world: the working-poor lottery winner who suddenly one day realizes that riches have turned his blood into vinegar." Don't miss this book!

We're all known to evil.

Let me say right up front how much I enjoyed reading this book. I do miss Easy Rawlins and the Los Angeles of my youth, but I am slowly warming up to Leonid McGill. Walter Mosley is a master craftsman when it comes to the English language. I love what he does with it; his frequent references to other literary works (how he managed to get Beowulf into this story is still beyond me); and the dialogue he often uses is enough to stop your breath at times. There are at least three significant plots woven into the fabric of this novel, and Mosley maneuvers us through them with amazing skill. In the end, everything makes sense, even if some things remain unresolved. What is Leonid going to about his wife and her young lover? Or, for that matter, Leonid's unbridled love for his mistress? The only problem I have with "Known to Evil" (and it's not really a problem per se) is the almost overwhelming number of characters that people this story. You almost need a roadmap to keep up with so many minor characters: some of whom are only mentioned in passing. And then there's the unusual combination of first and surnames. It's as if Mosley is just too clever with the names of some his characters. When you read "Known to Evil," you'll know what I mean. "Known to Evil" is an amazing work of fiction. The more you read it, the more it pulls you in. No matter how clean a character appears to be, s/he is still touched by evil. And I think that Mosley is making an observation about all of us. If you enjoy noir and you like it set in New York City, you have to read this book.

"Walter Mosley writes like he's the only author in a world full of readers".

In a world of overused superlatives; Walter Mosley stands out as TRUE recipient of the word 'genius' and any other accompanying synonyms. I get nervous when writing a review for one of Mosley's books because I feel like a third grader standing in front of the `Mona Lisa' and being told to critique it. So instead of trying to wrack my brain, write something profound or critique the work of a word-smith master... I'll just tell you how much I enjoyed this book (that kind of IS the purpose of a review, huh?). Leonid is a poor man's private eye. And like any good private eye, he has people on the good (and bad side) of the law, and the good (and bad side) of society. He's like a modern day mercenary, a gun for hire, a man's-man when you're in a pinch... a professor in philosophy for the street. Leonid is caught up in another octopus-type mystery. I say "octopus-type" because there are a LOT of characters and a LOT going on within the streets of New York. Come to think of it, New York is probably the only city with enough chutzpah to handle Leonid AND Mr. Mosley. Leonid's personal life is convoluted. Leonid's professional life is convoluted. Together they create a labyrinth of shady characters, bad cops, loose women, and nocturnal friends. The brilliance of `Known to Evil' is that it makes the classic black-n-white mystery noir seem brand new. While at the same time, continues to concretes Walter Mosley as a living literary legend. Most of us strive to leave a mark on this world by the time we die. With Leonid, Mosley is starting on his second Grand Canyon.
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