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Paperback The Long Fall : The First Leonid Mcgill Mystery Book

ISBN: 0451230256

ISBN13: 9780451230256

The Long Fall : The First Leonid Mcgill Mystery

(Book #1 in the Leonid McGill Series)

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

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...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Novel Detective, Great Writing, a Little Redemption, and a Raymond Chandler Plot

" . . . that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love." 2 Peter 1:4-7 (NKJV) Walter Mosley knows how to establish a character with just a few words. Consider these: "I didn't mind sending an innocent man, or woman, to prison because I didn't believe in innocence--and virtue didn't pay the bills. That was before my past caught up with me and died, spitting blood and curses on the rug. I still had a family that looked to me for their sustenance. My wife didn't love me and two out of three grown and nearly grown children were not of my blood. But none of that mattered. I had a job to do, and more than one debt to pay." In some ways Leonid McGill is a lot like Easy Rawlins, a black man with the deck stacked against him who must look out for himself . . . and those he cares about. But on closer examination, the differences are much wider than from Watts to Manhattan. Easy has a better sense of who he is, has evolved more as a human being, and is a lot like Don Quixote. Leonid is near the beginning of a journey back from a brink where he didn't want to be. Leonid is further toward the pit than most fictional detectives, a distinction that makes him more interesting. But there's still a streak of responsibility, of decency, that draws the reader to him. As the book opens, Leonid knows that he's taken on a fishy assignment, but he finishes it anyway. PIs are used to being lied to, as least in detective fiction. When the lies turn out to have implications beyond his conscience, Leonid jumps back in to see what he can do about it. While that seems straightforward, the plot twists and turns like the most convoluted of the Raymond Chandler classics. For my taste, it took more than a little too long for the mystery to be solved. As a result, the story bogs down in places and never quite goes at full speed. If you love character development, you'll be fond of this book. If you want a straightforward mystery, you'll wonder why this one heads off in so many directions (as the consciously and conspicuously story bows to many of the great pioneers of PI fiction writing and their classic tales). If The Big Sleep wasn't one of your favorite novels, this book won't appeal to you as much as it did to me. I especially appreciated Mr. Mosley's love for the old hard-boiled detective stories, so thoughtfully reflected in this story. It's great when a wonderful genre is expanded into new and interesting directions. I look forward to future books in the series.

Only slightly bent

I never read the Easy Rawlins books. Maybe I should, because I'm in love with private investigator Leonid McGill at his very first appearance in The Long Fall. LT (middle name Trotter) is a 53-year-old black man "two inches shorter and forty pounds heavier than a man should be." He's all muscle, a trained boxer, though he doesn't box. He has an unfaithful wife he doesn't love, and only one of their kids is biologically his. His favorite son is not his real son. He can't be with the woman he really loves because his family needs him. As an adolescent LT divided his leisure time between art museums and the boxing gym. He's very well read for a guy who earns a living doing shady deals. LT never kills people, but his expertise has been used by the kinds of people who do kill. We meet him at a turning point in life. He's having too many nightmares. From now on instead of being crooked, he hopes to be only slightly bent. He's practicing meditation to help deal with his guilty past. LT has a deadly talent. He can locate anybody, no matter how well hidden. In this book the bad guys are using LT again, but very cleverly, so that he only finds out when people start dying in his wake. He doesn't like it one bit, especially when his own name joins the hit list. Finding the mastermind behind the slaughter takes LT into some strange and frightening places. Be prepared for a complex plot with fascinating subplots! Walter Mosley has written a wonderful book full of quirky characters and utterly engaging human dilemmas.

Better than ever

Some of the reviews said this book starts a little slow and when compared to the Easy Rollins novels--which I love--that is true. There are more characters and more subplots but very few red herrings. I am not a regular reader of detective fiction and the Easy novels drew me in with the central character and his experience of LA. This one is set in New York City and while it lacks the visceral sense of landscape in the earlier novels, it's character development and narrative range go far deeper. Leonid is a great character but two months later I can still remember the qualities and nature of 20-25 other characters quite clearly. The plotting is dense and since I listened to the excellent audio book version, I occasionally wished I had the book to review a character but the gist was clear and the maze of plots did come clear at the end in a manner that was satisfying but not tidy. Mosley is working on a more ambitious canvas than ever and his confidence and trust in his readers allow him to tell his tale with patience and conviction. Can't wait for more LT.

Goodbye Easy Rawlins, Hello Leonid McGill.

It is difficult for me to imagine there may never be another Easy Rawlins mystery written by Walter Mosley. But in fiction, like life, sometimes it is time to move on. Enter Leonid McGill, a hardboiled contemporary PI, who works the mean streets of New York City. He may be the antithesis of Easy Rawlins. He's not smooth and handsome, but older and rugged. Perhaps too short and overweight. He's a man with a bad past. Leonid's life predicament is revealed in the novel's title. He is a character in search of redemption. Another significant difference between this book and the previous ones is the absence of colors: no blue, black, cinammon, scarlet, etc. That took some getting use to. A new Walter Mosley novel is always a welcomed treat. Enjoy this new protagonist's tale.

Colossal Stuff from the Best

Not since Richard Price's latest has New York felt so real to me. And, not since The Wire have I encountered the kind of flawed hero that makes the action feel so real and so intense. Starting a series is difficult, but Mosely lays out the groundwork for what should be another intense series.
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