The Long Fall (Leonid McGill Series #1)

The Long Fall (Leonid McGill Series #1)

by Walter Mosley

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451230256
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/02/2010
Series: Leonid McGill Series , #1
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 385,221
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Walter Mosley is one of America’s most celebrated, beloved, and bestselling writers. His books have been translated into at least twenty-one languages, and have won numerous awards. Born in Los Angeles, Mosley lives in New York City.

Hometown:

New York, New York

Date of Birth:

January 12, 1952

Place of Birth:

Los Angeles, California

Education:

B.A., Johnson State College

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Table of Contents

 

Title Page

Copyright Page

 

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Chapter 54

Chapter 55

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ALSO BY WALTER MOSLEY

EASY RAWLINS MYSTERIES
Blonde Faith
Cinnamon Kiss
Little Scarlet
Six Easy Pieces
Bad Boy Brawly Brown
A Little Yellow Dog
Black Betty
Gone Fishin’
White Butterfly
A Red Death
Devil in a Blue Dress

other FICTION
The Tempest Tales
Diablerie
Killing Johnny Fry
The Man in My Basement
Fear of the Dark
Fortunate Son
The Wave
Fear Itself
Futureland
Fearless Jones
Walkin’ the Dog
Blue Light
Always Outnumbered,
Always Outgunned
RL’s Dream
47
The Right Mistake

 

NONFICTION
This Year You Write Your Novel
What Next: A Memoir Toward
World Peace
Life Out of Context
Workin’ on the Chain Gang

RIVERHEAD BOOKS
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA • Penguin Group
(Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson
Canada Inc.) • Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England • Penguin Ireland,
25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) • Penguin Group
(Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson
Australia Group Pty Ltd) • Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park,
New Delhi-110 017, India • Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632,
New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) • Penguin Books
(South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

 

Copyright © 2009 by Walter Mosley

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
Published simultaneously in Canada

 

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Mosley, Walter.
The long fall / Walter Mosley.
p. cm.

eISBN : 978-1-101-01137-9

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

While the author has made every effort to provide accurate telephone numbers and Internet addresses at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors, or for changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

1

I’m sorry, Mr. um? . . .” the skinny receptionist said.

Her baby-blue-on-white nameplate merely read JULIET.

She had short blond hair that was longer in the front than in the back and wore a violet T-shirt that I was sure would expose a pierced navel if she were to stand up. Behind her was a mostly open-air-boutique-like office space with ten or twelve brightly colored plastic desks that were interspersed by big, leafy, green plants. The eastern wall, to my right, was a series of ceiling-to-floor segmented windowpanes that were not intended to open.

All the secretaries and gofers that worked for Berg, Lewis & Takayama were young and pretty, regardless of their gender. All except one.

There was a chubby woman who sat in a far corner to the left, under an exit sign. She had bad skin and a utilitarian fashion sense. She was looking down, working hard. I immediately identified with her.

I imagined sitting in that corner, hating everyone else in the room.

“Mr. Brown isn’t in?” I asked, ignoring Juliet’s request for a name.

“He can’t be disturbed.”

“Couldn’t you just give him a note from me?”

Juliet, who hadn’t smiled once, not even when I first walked in, actually sneered, looking at me as if I were a city trash collector walking right from my garbage truck into the White House and asking for an audience with the president.

I was wearing a suit and tie. Maybe my shoe leather was dull, but there weren’t any scuffs. There were no spots on my navy lapels, but, like that woman in the corner, I was obviously out of my depth: a vacuum-cleaner salesman among high-paid lawyers, a hausfrau thrown in with a bevy of Playboy bunnies.

“What is your business with Mr. Brown?” the snotty child asked.

“He gives financial advice, right?”

She almost answered but then decided it was beneath her.

“I’m a friend of a friend of his,” I said. “Jumper told me that Roger might show me what to do with my money.”

Juliet was getting bored. She took in a deep breath, letting her head tilt to the side as she exhaled.

It wasn’t my skin color that bothered her. People on Madison Avenue didn’t mind dark skins in 2008. This woman might have considered voting for Obama, if she voted. She might have flirted with a rap star at some chic nightclub that only served imported champagne and caviar.

Roger Brown was black. So were two of the denizens of the airy workspace. No. Juliet didn’t like me because of my big calloused hands and no-frills suit. She didn’t like me because I was two inches shorter and forty pounds heavier than a man should be.

“If I leave you my card, will you make sure that he gets it?”

After another sigh she held out a hand, palm up.

My fat red-brown wallet was older than the child, no doubt. I opened it and rooted among the fake business cards that were the hallmark of my trade. I decided on one that I hadn’t brought out since a woman I hardly knew had died at my feet.

ARNOLD DUBOIS
Van Der Zee Domestics
and In-home Service Aides

I went down on one knee, taking a pen from the red plastic desktop.

“Excuse me,” Juliet said in protest.

I scrawled for Roger (aka B-Brain) Brown across the bottom. Beneath that I added a number from a lost, or maybe stolen, cell phone that I had purchased specifically for this job. I stood up easily, without grunting, because, unknown to Juliet, most of my extra weight was muscle. I handed her the card and she took it gingerly by a corner.

“Is that all?” she said.

The chubby woman in the corner looked up at just that moment. I grinned at her and waved. She returned the gesture with a slightly puzzled smile.

“Thank you for your time,” I said, pretending I was talking to the woman under the exit sign. “This means a lot to me.”

Juliet sucked a tooth and pulled in her chin.

I remember a time when only black women did that.

 

 

 

STOMPING DOWN THE two flights to the street, I was thinking about when I would have pushed harder to get past that girl. All I had to do was get a look at Roger Brown. I had never even seen a photograph of the man but I knew he was black and in his thirties with a small crescent scar under his right eye. All I needed was one look.

At an earlier point in my career I would have probably done something extreme to achieve that simple goal. I might have raised my voice and demanded to see her supervisor, or just walked past her, looking into offices until Roger Brown showed his face, or not. I could have pulled the fire alarm in the hallway or even put a smoke bomb in a trash can. But those days were pretty much over for me. I hadn’t given up on being a private detective; that was all I knew. I still took incriminating photographs and located people who didn’t necessarily want to be found. I exposed frauds and cheats without feeling much guilt.

In other words, I still plied my trade but now I worried about things.

In the years before, I had no problem bringing people down, even framing them with false evidence if that’s what the client paid for. 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.

So I had contracted to find four men. I’d already located three of them. One was dead, one in prison, and the third was awaiting trial. Of the four, only Roger Brown, if this was indeed the Roger Brown I was looking for, had made some kind of life for himself, the kind of life where a pretty young white girl protected his privacy and called him Mister in an office of first names.

Maybe I went easy on Juliet because I was worried about Roger. The job was presented as a straightforward case, with no criminal prosecution involved. But if you find three bad apples, you know there’s got to be something rotten somewhere.

I walked down Madison in the bright summer sunshine, hoping that this Roger wasn’t the Roger I was looking for; and even if he was, I would have been happy if he never called.

2

From the Sixties on the East Side of Manhattan I took a yellow cab down to Thirty-fourth Street, a little west of Penn Station. Gordo’s Gym took up the entire fifth floor of a dirty brick building that was built sometime before Joe Louis knocked out the Cinderella Man. At noon on a Wednesday the ring was empty, as most of Gordo’s hopefuls were out plying day jobs to pay for their protein and locker space.

I set myself up in the corner where a heavy bag hung. That particular piece of real estate was next to a big window that was painted shut and so murky that you couldn’t see a thing through it. But I didn’t go to Gordo’s Gym three days a week for the view or the smell of men’s sweat, or for the company, for that matter.

I stripped down right there, put on my thick leather gloves (which were also older than Juliet), and started in on a rhythm of violence that kept up my balance in the rotted infrastructure of my city and my life.

Throwing a punch is the yang of a boxer’s life. The yin is being able to avoid getting hit. I’m pretty good at the yang part. Everybody knows but few can exploit the fact that a good punch comes first from the foot, moves in circular motion around the hips, and only then connects with the arm, fist, and if you’re lucky, your opponent’s jaw or rib cage. Fighting therefore is like the dance of a mighty Scot stamping and swinging in a dewy Highland morning.

For nearly twenty minutes I did my barbarian dance, punishing the big bag, allowing it to swing forward and hit me in the chest now and again. Since I’d given up smoking my wind was getting longer.

I needed anaerobic exercise to vent my anger.

I hated Roger Brown and Juliet along with so many things I had done over the years. At one time I had been able to live with myself because I could say that I only set up people who were already crooked, guilty of something—usually something bad—but not any longer.

I hit that bag with dozens of deadly combinations but in the end I was the one who was defeated, crouched over with my gloves on my knees.

“Not half bad,” a man said, his voice raspy and familiar.

“Hey, Gordo.” I didn’t raise my head because I didn’t have the strength.

“You still know how to give it yer all when you decide to give.”

“And even with that I come up short nine times out of ten.”

“You shoulda been a boxer,” one of New York’s unsung master trainers said to me.

“I liked late nights and cheap wine too much.”

“Beard like you got belongs in the ring.”

I’m a clean-shaven guy. Gordo was complimenting the iron in my jaw.

“Hit me enough,” I said, “and I’d go down like all the rest.”

“You coulda cleaned the clock of every light heavy in 1989.”

“Somebody woulda beat me.”

“That somebody was you,” Gordo said with emphasis. “You hung back when you coulda stood tall.”

“Lucky for the world that I’m a short man in inches and stature.”

I straightened up and turned to face my best friend and toughest critic.

Gordo was a short guy too, somewhere between seventy-five and eighty-eight. He was black by American racial terminology but in actuality he was more the color of untanned leather informed by a lifetime’s worth of calluses, hard knocks, and hollering. The blood had risen to his face so often that his mug had darkened into a kind of permanent rage-color.

I was still breathing hard. After all, I’m past fifty.

“Why you wanna put yourself down like that, LT?” the veteran trainer said. “You coulda been sumpin’.”

He wouldn’t have been talking to me if any of his young prospects were in the gym. Gordo hovered over his young boxers like a mama crocodile over her brood.

I slumped down on the floor, letting my wet T-shirt slap against the wall.

“That’s just not me, G. I never could take any kinda order or regimen.”

“You know how to hit that bag three times a week.”

“Is that enough?”

The sour-faced little guy frowned and shook his head, as much in disgust as in answer to my question. He turned away and limped toward his office on the other side of the big, low-ceilinged room.

After five minutes or so I made it back to my feet. I pawed the bag three or four times before my knees and hips got into it. After a minute had passed I was in a kind of frenzy. Before, I had just been angry, now I was desperate.

I think I went to Gordo’s just so that he could kick me in the ass. The foundation of our friendship was the simple fact that he never held back. I was a failure because I wasn’t a boxer—at least in his eyes. He never cared if his boys lost, only if they didn’t try.

I pounded that bag with everything I had. The sweat was streaming down my face and back and thighs. I felt lighter and lighter, stronger and stronger. For a moment there I was throwing punches like a real contender in a title match; the underdog who intended to prove the oddsmakers wrong. Everything fell into place and I wasn’t anything but ready.

And then, in an instant, the feeling slipped away. My legs gave out and I crumpled to the floor. All that I had was spent.

Gordo leaned back in his office chair and glanced out the door in my direction. He saw me lying there and leaned forward again.

Ten minutes later I got to my feet.

Twenty minutes after that I’d showered and gotten dressed. A few guys were in the gym by then. Not boxers but office workers who wanted to feel what it was like to work out next to real athletes.

I was headed for the stairs when Gordo called out to me.

“LT.”

The visitor’s chair in his matchbox office was a boxing stool. I squatted down on that and took a deep breath.

“What’s wrong with you, kid?”

“It’s nuthin’, G. Not a thing.”

“Naw, uh-uh,” the man who knew me as well as anyone said. “For over a year you been comin’ in here hittin’ that bag hard enough and long enough to give a young man cardiac arrest. You wasn’t all that friendly before but now even the smart-asses around here leave you alone. Don’t tell me it’s nuthin’. Uh-uh. It’s sumpin’ and it’s gettin’ worse.”

“I got it under control,” I said.

“Talk to me, Leonid.” Gordo never used my given name. He called me Kid or LT or McGill in everyday banter. But there was no humor in him right then.

“You once told me that you didn’t want to know about what I did to make a living,” I said in a last-ditch attempt to stave him off.

The old man grinned and tapped his forehead with the four fingers of his left hand.

“I got more dirty secrets up here than a slot machine got nickels,” he said. “I didn’t wanna know about your business ’cause I knew that you couldn’t talk about it an’ still come around.”

In order to be a good trainer you had to be a teacher, a counselor, a psychologist, and a priest. In order to be a great trainer—add to that list, an irrefutable liar.

“You can do it, kid,” the trainer says when his fighter is down on points with his good eye swollen shut.

“He’s gettin’ tired. It’s time to pour it on,” the trainer says when the opponent is grinning and bouncing on his toes in the opposite corner.

Gordo never wanted to hear about my shady doings before. But before ceased to exist and all we had was now.

But I couldn’t tell him the truth. I mean, how could I confess that after twenty years a young woman had found out that I’d framed her father, sending him to prison and ultimately to his death? His daughter called herself Karma, and she framed me for her own murder using seduction and a hired assassin. I killed the killer but still the young woman, Karmen Brown, died in my arms cursing me with spittle and blood on her lips.

Karmen’s last breath was a curse for me.

“Let’s just say that I realized that I’ve done some things wrong,” I said. “I’m tryin’ to backtrack now. Tryin’ to make right what I can.”

Gordo was studying me, giving away nothing of his own thoughts.

“I got a kid tells me that he can be a middleweight,” he said at last. “Problem is he thinks he’s an artist instead of a worker. Comes in here and batters around some of the rejects and thinks that he’s Marvin Hagler or somethin’.”

“Yeah? What’s his name?”

“Punterelle, Jimmy Punterelle. Italian kid. He’ll be in here the next three days. If I put some fifty-year-old warhorse in front of him and point he’ll put on a shit-eatin’ grin and go to town.”

I pretended to consider these words for a moment or two and then said, “Okay.”

It was Gordo’s brief smile that eased my sadness, somewhat. He was my de facto confessor, and Jimmy Punterelle was going to be my Hail Mary.

3

I checked my illegal cell phone for messages but Roger Brown hadn’t called. So when I was out on the street again I felt lighter, easier. Maybe everything would be okay. It didn’t matter if my client only found out about three lowlifes. It didn’t matter at all.

 

 

 

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The Long Fall (Leonid McGill Series #1) 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Albany, New York private investigator Ambrose Thurman hires Manhattan based sleuth Leonid McGill to find four black men who were close friends to two decades ago. He gives Leonid their nicknames as that is all his client gave him. Leonid has turned over a new leaf about being morally correct when it comes to working cases to include no jobs for the mob and being straight with his wife Katrina to include no more affairs with Aura and raise his three children; two not sired by him. He learns James "Big Jim" Wright is dead; Frankie "Jumper" Tork is in the Tombs awaiting sentencing for B&E; Theodore "Toolie" Nelson is doing 86 years; and Roger "B-Brain" Brown is a successful financier. He reports the information to Ambrose, but soon afterward Jumper and B-Brain are killed; Toolie is stabbed; followed by Ambrose whose real name is Norman Fell also being murdered. As NYPD Detective Kitteridge tries to nail him, Leonid works on finding who the client was as he feels he owes B-Brain for exposing him; he also works a case involving a mobster seeking an accountant hiding in Coney Island and his teenage son Twill planning to kill an abusive pedophile father. This is an intriguing private investigative Noir starring a man who in his fifties has found scruples that makes his job that much more difficult. The prime investigation is action-packed as Leonid realizes he indirectly caused the murders and almost dies too; yet feels he must uncover the truth even flying in a prop to Albany to do so. The other two sleuthing subplots, some musings by the hero into his unprincipled past and his family drama are well handled and enable the audience to better understand Leonid's motives. Although the king of the city seems over the Empire State Building, fans will enjoy this Walter Mosley's fine opening Manhattan (and Albany) murder mystery. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Being a long time fan of Walter Mosley I was very much looking forward to this new series. Unfortunately, I found the plot to be all over the place and to have too many characters. This is the first Mosley book that I didn't have to fight not to finish in one sitting.
Mose More than 1 year ago
Big fan of WM; however this is a very poor effort. I am disappointed. Character development is poor; the plot wanders; the main character rambles. I have often given WM books to new readers. I will not pass this one along.
RisaCup More than 1 year ago
I personally couldn't get into the Easy Rawlins series. I tried years ago but I didn't like the movie Devil in a Blue Dress so it just didn't work for me. Maybe I'll try them again, years later and after reading this book. I read Man in the Basement and that was waaay too freaky for me but I highly commend Mr. Mosley with Leonid. I loved him from the very beginning. I can't see how anyone doesn't. I'm looking forward the other series. Yes, it has a lot of characters and yes there are some words I have to look up in the dictionary and ask...why didn't he just say that in the first place?! But I'm a nerd like that!! I enjoy flipping back and re-reading about a character. I keep a list of the words I dont' know & look them up later. I enjoy being challenged and Mr. Mosley challenges you but keeps you entertained.
dwoodard More than 1 year ago
This is not a good write for Mosley. I did not enjoy the book because it was not well written like Mosley other books. The characters were just too many to keep up with the story and the plot was not all that good. I felt Mosley was trying to hard to introduce this new PI.
taurusmoon More than 1 year ago
The Long Fall by Walter Mosley introduces a new PI named Leonid McGill. A little background on McGill: He is African-American, average height, a boxer in a previous life, the son of a communist, married to a woman who had children by other men during their marriage and used to take on unscrupulous jobs if paid the right price. With all that said, McGill is trying to make up for his past by taking jobs that won't ruin the lives of others. But sometimes getting out of the life is hard to do. Mosley weaved together a great story of personal redemption while maintaining an excellent mystery. McGill, with all his flaws, is a likable character that you want to see succeed. By using his experience as a former boxer and using his own interpretation of what his communist father was trying to teach him as a child, McGill fights his way through several dangerous scraps and uses insight that is uncommon in most mystery novels.
TrishNYC More than 1 year ago
Private detective Leonid McGill is trying to go straight, leaving his less than legal life behind. But honesty becomes challenging as he is hired by Albany private detective Ambrose Thurman to find four young men. The only information that Ambrose provides him with is the street names the young men used when they were teenagers. Leonid finds the men in question but there is something fishy about the whole situation and he is uncomfortable with certain aspects of the case. But the rent on his office is due and he needs the money so he shelves his doubts and hands over the names and addresses of the men to Ambrose. But all of Leonid's fears are confirmed when he finds out that the young men are suddenly turning up dead. In addition to all of this, Twill, Leonid's son is involved in something non too legal, his estranged wife has recently returned to his life and the woman who he truly cares for, is unavailable to him. Worst of all, as the men die, the police begin to look at him as a suspect. There is much to like about the story. I was drawn in almost from the beginning and intrigued by Leonid's life and dealings. The author has created a character who you know has a very checkered past but you almost can't help rooting for. But one of the first things that really bothered me about the book was the author's constant references to race. Characters were almost always described on a racial basis and interactions had many racial undertones. In a very small way I understand what the author was driving at when he first made certain racial references but after awhile it was extreme overkill. Also the resolution of the story was just not good enough. You spend all this time getting invested but when you find out what really happened you feel cheated. The author tried very hard to give the reader a feel for who Leonid was and brought in other story lines that were not related to the main mystery. Unfortunately, the detours became distractions and as interesting as they may have been, they became hindrance rather than help. But despite these problems I am not averse to reading more in this series(this is the first Leonid McGill mystery). I will definitely look out for the next book as I want to see what Leonid gets into the next time around.
TN1796 14 days ago
Apparently Walter Mosley was not satisfied to create one of the truly great series detective characters, Easy Rawlins. Proving with little effort his skills as a novelist who writes mysteries, Mosley now gives us a second detective, Leonid McGill. To shake things up McGill lives in New York in the present day (as opposed to Easy, who worked in Los Angeles of the mid-20th century). Easy has a complicated personal life and has never been the most upright citizen. Now, though he has "decided to go from crooked to slightly bent." As he takes on a job for a client with plenty of money, his background will help him find the info requested. Will he be able to clean up his act in a city trying to scrub off its surface grime. I look forward to more with Leonid McGill.
Noreenelizabeth on LibraryThing 22 days ago
On MPRs books to read in 2010. Detective stories just aren't my thing.
detailmuse on LibraryThing 22 days ago
The Long Fall is the first book in Walter Mosley¿s new noir-ish series featuring the fiftysomething New York City private investigator, Leonid Trotter McGill (¿LT¿).Like other Mosley protagonists, LT is a smart, reflective observer, complex in his ethics and relationships in ways that intrigue readers and make them care deeply. He¿s a boxer with a Buddhist philosophy -- ¿Throwing a punch is the yang of a boxer¿s life. The yin is being able to avoid getting hit¿ -- and admits to having thrown enough yang that he¿s now changed his life ¿from crooked to only slightly bent.¿The novel opens as LT seemingly nears completion of his current case -- locating four men who knew each other as boys -- but when accumulating troubles start to test his yin, the story takes off. Unfortunately, it took off without me, as I became lost in unfamiliar minor characters and could only half-follow the storyline. I finally stopped to re-read the first five chapters and discovered why: nearly 40 characters are introduced in those 30 pages, but few are adequately unpacked.Still, I read Mosley for his settings and main characters, and the ones here have terrific series potential -- people and places that are unlike me in the ways that intrigue ¿ and deeply familiar in the ways that matter. (Review based on an advance-reading copy.)
Sararush on LibraryThing 22 days ago
Walter Mosley¿s The Long Fall is a mystery novel set in New York. The main character and narrator, Leonid, is perfection. A private investigator trying to balance what he believes is right and what is necessary to pay his rent and provide for his family. When he ignores his gut and takes the wrong case; inadvertently assisting in murder, he finds himself fighting for his life. Which is only the beginning of his problems, as his youngest son is also plotting a murder. There is a lot of back story and compelling family drama intermixed with the front burner story line¿the book is obviously a series launch. The plot is very intricate (sometimes predictable), but the structure and pace become consuming. I had some difficulty understanding how Leonid came up with some of his conclusions, but it could be that I was racing through the pages. When I wasn¿t reading this book, I wanted to be reading this book. The Long Fall is as near a perfect mystery as I have read lately. I am looking forward to the next installment of the series.
writestuff on LibraryThing 22 days ago
I was like a man, shovel in hand, finding himself standing in a freshly dug grave but with no memory of having dug it. I stayed there because at least if you¿ve hit bottom you had no farther to fall. - from The Long Fall -Leonid McGill is a man of contradictions. He has spent much of his life working for criminals as a Private Investigator, immersing himself in the dangerous world of organized crime. But he has a conscience and now wants to live a different life ¿ one where people don¿t get killed just because he can locate them. He¿s an ex-boxer who appreciates fine art. He¿s a no-nonsense, tough guy with a soft spot for his teenage son and a commitment to a marriage that doesn¿t work. Sardonic, oddly sensitive, and matter-of-fact, it is Leonid McGill who narrates Walter Mosley¿s newest novel The Long Fall.It becomes clear from the early pages of The Long Fall that McGill has his hands full with his marriage, his errant kids, and a new job which ends up being a little different than he expected. I still had a family that looked to me for their sustenance. My wife didn¿t love me and the two out of three grown and nearly grown children were not of my blood. But none of that mattered. I had a a job to do, and more than one debt to pay. ¿ from The Long Fall -Mosley writes in a direct way, revealing his protagonist as a man who although willing to do what it takes to get the job done, also struggles with the choices in his life and realizes he must eventually face his demons. I did not love Leonid McGill, but he eventually grew on me. There are few characters in the book who resonated with me ¿ McGill¿s children are a mess, his landlady (who wants to be his lover) is superficially drawn, his wife is pathetic, the men who McGill ¿works¿ with are cold-blooded killers for the most part, and even his friends are not people with whom I would enjoy an evening. Because of this, I struggled a bit with this novel. I admit, I want to love the characters I spend my time with¿and most of Mosley¿s characters seem to have been scrapped up from the worst dregs of society.Despite this flaw (for me) in the novel, the plot itself is interesting enough. Written like a hard-boiled type mystery, Mosley lays out a mess of a plot, and then gradually untangles it. The narrative style ¿ conversational, direct, rapid-fire ¿ works for the novel. The book reminds me of those old 1940s movies which start out with a guy, feet up on the desk and a curl of cigarette smoke wafting to the ceiling, talking about one dark and lonely night.The Long Fall is the first in a planned series of mysteries featuring McGill so readers who want more will get their wish. Mystery readers who like their books hard-boiled and who want a flawed character who eventually redeems himself, will enjoy The Long Fall.
kristinabrooke on LibraryThing 22 days ago
This book is an amazing first-installment of what I hope will be a long series.
BeckyJG on LibraryThing 22 days ago
Each time I read a Walter Mosley book--which isn't very often--I wonder to myself why I don't read every Walter Mosley book. Each one I've read is a beautiful, violent gem. In simple, unflinching, often poetic language Mosely writes hard-boiled detective fiction like no one writing today.The Long Fall introduces a new character, Leonid McGill, an African American private investigator in his fifties. For those who wonder how a black man comes by such a name, McGill--or LT, as most people call him--replies that, "My father was a Communist. He tried to cut me from the same red cloth. He believed in living with everybody but his family. McGill is my slave name." LT boxed in his youth, and still spars to keep in shape; his short compact frame is heavily muscled and deceptively strong. In the past LT pursued a less than ethical career path, working for the mob and other lowlifes, killing--or, at least, being the conduit for information that would lead to death--when the job called for it. In recent years, though, he's gone, well, if not straight, then, as he would put it, just slightly bent. It's a struggle.The Long Fall opens with LT tracking down, for a client once removed whose identity he doesn't know, the last of four young men known only by their youthful nicknames. One, he discovers is dead, one is in prison, one is out on bail and awaiting sentencing, and the fourth has made a good life for himself in the straight world. Within days of his finding these men, the two out in the world are dead and an attempt has been made on the life of the imprisoned man as well. Not long after, an attempt is made on LT's life.The next couple of hundred pages follow McGill's quest to discover why. Why was he hired to find these men, and by whom? Why are they now being killed? Why does somebody want him dead? Why is it so hard to do the right thing? During the course of his investigation LT is beaten, interrogated by the police and even has to go to Albany (he's a Manhattanite born and bred).The novel is rich with detail, yet there's nothing in it that shouldn't be there. Leonid McGill's home life is as complex as his work life. He's married to a Scandinavian woman and is father to three children, only one of whom is actually his biologically (although they don't know this). His wife recently left him but has now returned, amping up the housewife meter and turning LT's domestic world into a surrealistic dream (or maybe nightmare).There are several subplots which are nicely resolved, as well as a number of tantalizing references to events in McGill's past. Mosley evokes present day New York as spot-on perfectly as he does the Los Angeles of decades past in his Easy Rawlins novels.
flashflood42 on LibraryThing 22 days ago
First leonid McGill mystery--The murder of 3 hoodlums and a businessman as well as the PI who hired LM to find their identities leads LM to search for the reasons. Read while in Kazakhstan.
kimreadthis on LibraryThing 22 days ago
PlotPrivate investigator Leonid Trotter (L.T.) McGill finds the whereabouts of 4 men for a client. Suddenly the men start to turn up murdered. L.T. must find out who is behind the murders, as the investigator unwittingly gave the murderer the information to find his victims. L.T. is also trying to be a clean P.I., severing his past connections to the NYC underworld. He struggles to accomplish this, as forces try to drag him back into the scene with blackmail and connections from his past. SettingNew York City, some Albany.CharactersL.T. McGill is a conflicted private investigator. The book focuses on his troubled relationships with his wife and children. McGill works nonstop and does not find his home restful.PacingFast paced - MANY characters (confusing number of characters and relationships). Everything is revealed at the end in a climactic resolution, but there are many twists and turns and side stories on the way there.NarrationFirst-person from L.T.'s perspective.=====Language - RSex - mild, adulteryHomosexuality - hints that some individuals may be homosexual, no real focus in the storyViolence - Gun and physical violence, descriptions of sexual abuse
TrishNYC on LibraryThing 22 days ago
Private detective Leonid McGill is trying to go straight, leaving his less than legal life behind. But honesty becomes challenging as he is hired by Albany private detective Ambrose Thurman to find four young men. The only information that Ambrose provides him with is the street names the young men used when they were teenagers. Leonid finds the men in question but there is something fishy about the whole situation and he is uncomfortable with certain aspects of the case. But the rent on his office is due and he needs the money so he shelves his doubts and hands over the names and addresses of the men to Ambrose. But all of Leonid's fears are confirmed when he finds out that the young men are suddenly turning up dead. In addition to all of this, Twill, Leonid's son is involved in something non too legal, his estranged wife has recently returned to his life and the woman who he truly cares for, is unavailable to him. Worst of all, as the men die, the police begin to look at him as a suspect. There is much to like about the story. I was drawn in almost from the beginning and intrigued by Leonid's life and dealings. The author has created a character who you know has a very checkered past but you almost can't help rooting for. But one of the first things that really bothered me about the book was the author's constant references to race. Characters were almost always described on a racial basis and interactions had many racial undertones. In a very small way I understand what the author was driving at when he first made certain racial references but after awhile it was extreme overkill. Also the resolution of the story was just not good enough. You spend all this time getting invested but when you find out what really happened you feel cheated. The author tried very hard to give the reader a feel for who Leonid was and brought in other story lines that were not related to the main mystery. Unfortunately, the detours became distractions and as interesting as they may have been, they became hindrance rather than help. But despite these problems I am not averse to reading more in this series(this is the first Leonid McGill mystery). I will definitely look out for the next book as I want to see what Leonid gets into the next time around.
nbsp on LibraryThing 22 days ago
Great pace for a debut of a series. I liked Walter Mosley's new character, Leonid McGill. Mosley fluidly introduced lots of characters that will no doubt populate future books.  And, they weren't "the usual suspects". Nice twist at the end.My compliments to the reader of this audiobook, Mirron Willis. He's perfect in this.
JFBallenger on LibraryThing 22 days ago
I found this to be a compelling launch to Mosley's new series. As with the Easy Rawlins books, Mosley brilliant weaves biting social commentary into the conventions and fast pace of noir fiction. Some reviewers have argued that Mosley spends too much time on character development -- filling in the back story on even minor characters. For me this was refreshing. Much of his recent writing outside of the (seemingly) concluded Rawlins series seems rushed with hasty and superficial character development. Here he takes the time to draw his characters fully. And for me, noir fiction is driven by character, not plot (as in who-dunnits). So I'm looking forward to future chapters in the Leonid McGill story.
g82hug on LibraryThing 27 days ago
I read the Long Fall with my book club. I must first say that I am a Mosley fan, Easy Rawlins snagged my heart long ago, but it took me some time to finish The Long Fall. I enjoyed the character, Leonid, and all his complexity, but I think I may have began the book hoping to find Easy. Leonid is definitely not Easy, but I grew to like him by the end of the novel. I will have to read the next in the series before I can say with any certainty.
mahallett on LibraryThing 30 days ago
all the other reviewers really liked this one. i couldn't understand how it got published. so much detail about his personal life(vomit). his son but i don't remember if it's his biological son is ready to kill someone and all this ties up with a case the hero is working on(maybe). so many characters, insane asylums, rich people, gyms. i couldn't keep it all straight. i listened to it and found the narrator didn't help. at the end i had no idea what it was all about. i usually like mosley
knittingmomof3 on LibraryThing 30 days ago
An excellent introduction to Leonid McGill's fascinating life. Mosely's style, at least in this series, reminds me a lot of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer series (which is also excellent, for those old enough to be familiar with the series).
bohemiangirl35 on LibraryThing 30 days ago
Leonid McGill is making a major life change - from being crooked to only slightly bent. His gift is that he can find anyone anywhere. He used to find people for anyone who wanted him to. Now, he doesn't want to find people so they can be killed. When a group of childhood friends that he locates start dying, Leonid starts tracking down the person who wanted them found. Then he finds himself on the kill list.His family has no idea what he does for a living. At the book's opening, his wife has just come back to him after moving out for another man. The man's business fails, he has to leave town and she comes home. She took one of their three teenage kids when she left, the only one who is blood related to Leonid. The other two kids don't know they are not biologically his and actually like him better than his biological son.The book is okay. The were a ton of characters and several subplots. The mix of ethnicities seemed a little forced, like Mosley wanted to put as many cultures in the story as possible. Maybe the next one in the series will be fleshed out a little better. I'll probably try another one, but I'm not in a hurry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Those women who stay at home and read e g over fifty and there are a lot and from library not buy
billbailey More than 1 year ago
Walter Mosley is a great author. I have read a great number of his books, and have never been disappointed