Mosley fills his third thriller featuring New York City PI Leonid McGill (after Known to Evil) with insights even deeper than the mysteries McGill is trying to solve. Chrystal Tyler, a potential new client, tells McGill that she's afraid her billionaire husband is having an affair and may kill her. While McGill realizes the woman is lying, he needs the case and agrees to see what he can do to make her husband back off. Meanwhile, McGill's wife of 24 years, Katrina, is having an affair; his favorite son, Twill, has a new scam working; and longtime boxing mentor Gordo Tallman is living in his apartment, fighting cancer. Then Harris Vartan, a dangerous organized crime figure, asks a favor that will lead McGill on a journey of self-discovery. Readers will encounter the full panoply of complex Mosley characters, from deceitful women to ruthless killers, but it's the often surprising bonds of love and family that lift this raw, unsentimental novel. (Mar.)
In the third Leonid McGill mystery, following Known to Evil (2010),the African American private eye (he owes his unusual first name to his "crackpot Communist father"), returns for another adventure. Unlike Mosley's celebrated Easy Rawlins novels, set in L.A. from the 1940s through the 1960s, this series is set in contemporary New York and features McGill employing all variety of high-tech gadgetry. And, yet, despite the trimmings, this one begins in classic hard-boiled Chandlerian fashion: a beautiful woman, Chrystal Tyler, arrives in McGill's office claiming her billionaire husband may be planning to kill her. The claim might be unbelievable, but her cash is real enough, prompting McGill to take the case. Inevitably, he finds himself stuck in the middle of a plot that's several levels more complicated than he had anticipated. Through three novels, McGill has become a likable enough series hero in the old-school mold. Mosley's many fans will find plenty to keep them engaged here, though they may still find themselves wondering if Rawlins really did die at the end of Blonde Faith (2007). HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Mosley's past successes have built a committed readership, especially for his crime fiction, and his publisher will make every effort to hook Easy Rawlins fans on this new series. --(David Pitt)
“suspenseful, insightful and superbly written.”
Leonid McGill, a tough guy striving to make up for his past transgressions, carries a lot of baggage. When he was young, his father abandoned him and ran off to war somewhere, but Leonid's head is still filled with his father's revolutionary maxims. Leonid's best friend is dying of cancer in his apartment; Leonid loves his three children, but only one is really his; and his wife's cheating again. Mosley's plot is labyrinthine in this third series outing (after Known to Evil and The Long Fall), to say the least. A beautiful young woman hires Leonid to investigate her billionaire husband: she's convinced he plans to kill her. But the woman isn't who she says she is. Everyone lies to Leonid or hides things from him, but he plows ahead anyway. Mosley maintains interest until the end, when the plot fizzles out in a disappointing denouement VERDICT The scenes with Leonid's family are the best in the book, especially those that depict the sleuth's love for his wayward sons. Despite its flaws, this is an enjoyable book that will deservedly have fans. A welcome addition to a popular series. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/10.]—David Keymer, Modesto, CA
A client who isn't a client sends private eye Leonid McGill (Known to Evil, 2010, etc.) on his latest whirligig tour of New York's dark side.
Billionaire Cyril Tyler's first two wives, Allondra North and Pinky Todd, died suddenly and suspiciously. So it's only natural for their successor, painter Chrystal Chambers-Tyler, to fear what he might do if he learned she was paying a private detective to get information about his infidelities. When he wangles a meeting with the well-guarded Tyler, Leonid realizes that the situation's more complicated than that. Tyler pays Leonid $10,000 to deliver an awkwardly conciliatory message to Chrystal. But Leonid can't because his client has disappeared. In fact, she was never Chrystal in the first place but her sister, Shawna Chambers-Campbell. Clearly afraid that Tyler planned some violence against her sister, Shawna was only half-right, since she's the one who gets killed in front of her five children. Not enough complications for you? Leonid has also reluctantly agreed to find crooked organizer Harris Vartan's vanished associate William Williams, a man whose trail seems to lead from one interesting dead end to the next. And between his wife Katrina's continuing affairs, his own off-again romances, his stormy relationships with his children and the decline of his cancer-stricken friend Gordo Tallman as he lies in Leonid's apartment, the story of the detective's home life is just as hectic, and bound to end just as inconclusively.
A book filled with sharp individual scenes and hard-headed aphorisms.
Unlike the flamboyant criminals who swagger through Mosley's Easy Rawlins novels, the characters who catch your eye here are people who are normally invisible: old folks living on the edges of society and young black men with "no notion of their history and no hope for a future except what they were told by the TV." The qualities that make McGill fit to be their hero are the same ones that make him the quintessential New Yorker: he sees it all and knows it all and somehow feels responsible for it all.
The New York Times