Three decades ago, the young Socrates Fortlow, in a burst of drunken rage, murdered a man and a woman. Free again, after 27 years of hard time, Fortlow is living in an abandoned building, scavenging bottles and delivering groceries to barely eke out a living.
In each of the stories that comprise this richly brooding novel, Socrates, like his namesake, questions the morality of the world beset with crime, poverty, and racism that surrounds him. His unforgettable presence and his perceptions cast a glow of somber lyricism upon an often harsh world. This is the debut of Walter Mosley's most compelling new character since the introduction of detective Easy Rawlins.