Bad Night Is Falling

Bad Night Is Falling

by Gary Phillips
     
 

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Called "tough, smart, and unabashedly political" (Gar Anthony Haywood), Private Investigator Ivan Monk has taken the mystery genre by storm. Powerful, compelling and thought provoking, Gary Phillips's series has gained thousands of fans and widespread critical acclaim--the Quarterly Black Review of Books agrees that "its political perspective is absolutely…  See more details below

Overview

Called "tough, smart, and unabashedly political" (Gar Anthony Haywood), Private Investigator Ivan Monk has taken the mystery genre by storm. Powerful, compelling and thought provoking, Gary Phillips's series has gained thousands of fans and widespread critical acclaim--the Quarterly Black Review of Books agrees that "its political perspective is absolutely refreshing...a welcome read." Once again, the heat is building in the Rancho Tajuata projects. And it's not just because it's summer in L.A. Racial tension and gang violence are menacing the city streets. And when three members of a Mexican family--including a little girl--are killed in a firebombing, local hostility threatens to rage out of control. At the request of the tenants' security force, P.I. Ivan Monk is called in to find the killer. But to track him down, Monk must delve into a tangled history leading back to the Watts riots, revealing layers of racism and corruption. Monk sorts through the complexities of gang conflicts and governmental kickbacks, only to find himself at odds with the police, disillusioned by his mentor--and, after a fierce struggle with some gang members, under indictment for murder. Now Monk must race to clear his name before time runs out, and a bad night falls on the Rancho Tajuata projects, this time for good...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In Phillips's third Ivan Monk mystery (after Violent Spring and Perdition, U.S.A.), the African American Los Angeles PI, who also owns a donut shop, investigates a fatal firebombing in the Rancho Tajuata housing project. Monk is hired by the head of the Ra-Falcons, a Black Muslim splinter group that was hired to work security at the multiracial project, to clear them of responsibility in the fiery death of a family from Mexico. The search for the bombers leads Monk through a minefield of racial tension between the black residents and the burgeoning Latino population and back to some shady financial dealings that started with the 1965 Watts riots. Monk's lady, Superior Court Judge Jill Kodama, is the object of a nasty recall campaign because of her reluctance to enforce the controversial "Three Strikes" law. Both story lines are compelling and supported by convincing characterization and effective action and sex scenes. But these qualities are compromised by numerous instances of ungainly word choice, ungrammatical constructions and clotted metaphors. For example, this is Monk's observation of a lighted room full of young gang members: "A compressed thing of pain and fury, soon to spin off its spirochetes in erratic orbits to zoom, and eventually falter, in a universe of chaos." Without the continual distractions of sloppy writing and/or editing, this novel would have packed a significantly greater punch. (July)
Kirkus Reviews
Efra¡n Cruzado's traveled a long way from his political roots in Mexico, but not far enough to prevent somebody from tossing a Molotov cocktail through his sleeping daughters' bedroom window. The resulting fire kills Cruzado, his mother, and one of his daughters—and causes ripples to spread through every organization in Los Angeles, from the Rancho Tajuata Tenants' Association (who want to know why the Ra-Falcons, the ex-gang-bangers they'd hired as a security detail, didn't prevent the fire) to the city housing office (desperate to have the Tenants' Association gather enough tenants' signatures to complete the project's application to convert from HUD public housing to co-op ownership). Dissatisfied with the LAPD's reassignation of Lt. Marasco Seguin from Wilshire Division to cover the case, Ra-Falcons chief Antar Absalla hires Seguin's old friend, black shamus Ivan Monk, to get to the bottom of it. And the bottom, as Monk soon finds out, lies deep beneath a tangle of political corruption going back to the Watts riots 30 years ago, with nearly everybody involved having something to hide—beginning with his client, who wastes no time in firing Monk after the occurrence of the first of several casually violent episodes that will send the body count soaring before Monk can help the cops cuff the survivors. Monk's third case (Perdition, U.S.A., not reviewed, etc.) provides enough gritty gossip, blistering action, and trash talk to make real-life L.A. seem comparatively wholesome.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425163023
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/01/1998
Series:
Ivan Monk Mysteries Series
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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