His name is etched on the door of his Manhattan office: LEONID McGILL, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR. It’s a name that takes a little explaining, but he’s used to it. “Daddy was a communist and great-great- Granddaddy was a slave master from Scotland. You know, the black man’s family tree is mostly root. Whatever you see aboveground is only a hint at the real story.”
Ex-boxer, hard drinker, in a business that trades mostly in cash and favors: McGill’s an old-school P.I. working a city that’s gotten fancy all around him. Fancy or not, he has always managed to get by—keep a roof over the head of his wife and kids, and still manage a little fun on the side—mostly because he’s never been above taking a shady job for a quick buck. But like the city itself, McGill is turning over a new leaf, “decided to go from crooked to slightly bent.”
New York City in the twenty-first century is a city full of secrets—and still a place that reacts when you know where to poke and which string to pull. That’s exactly the kind of thing Leonid McGill knows how to do. As soon as The Long Fall begins, with McGill calling in old markers and greasing NYPD palms to unearth some seemingly harmless information for a high-paying client, he learns that even in this cleaned-up city, his commitment to the straight and narrow is going to be constantly tested.
And we learn that with this protagonist, this city, this time, Mosley has tapped a rich new vein that’s inspiring his best work since the classic Devil in a Blue Dress.
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The Long Fall
The one thing that many writers miss is using the preponderance of ambient detail to move the story forward By that I mean the layering of seeming minor detail to create the effect much like a pointillist painting, A few steps back and the chaos of tiny dots dissolve into a solidity that can be achieved in no other way. Make no mistake, Walter Mosley is master of this technique! . Both in his development of characters each sculpted to achieve a coherent whole and his creation of place not just any place but where his characters are standing.
LA and NY two cites that I have lived in and know on a first name basis. Mr. Mosley is expert in getting the voice of the place. When I first read the Easy Rollins series I was struck with Mr. Moseley's adept capture of the culture of LA down to the exact descriptions of the lawns. He seemed to know with tone and pace what was essential to the characters development. The era of the "Easy" series was also well portrayed impeccably, I know I was brought up in those neighborhoods in that time.
I was struck in the "Long Fall" that Mr. Mosley had picked up some of the same exacting nuance of New York, something that goes beyond atmosphere that attaches itself like a winter glove. This includes the descriptions of the buildings and the streets. The rooms and the hard bitten people that crisscross the life of a working detective. Without giving anything away he also is able to describe the bittersweet world of a personal relationship in free-fall.
The narrator Marion Willis inhabits the characters he performs especially well, the central character, however he fleshes out even minor characters giving each a distinction and separate voice .
I got this book to listen to on the way to work it was a great purchase!
I thought it was a good book.
This is the first Walter Mosley book I have listened to and I thought it was good. I like all kinds of stories and I am hooked on his style of story telling. I will try out the rest of his books.
Hello Mr. McGill
I was hesitant to take up with Leonid McGill because I'm a die hard Easy Rawlins fan. After hearing Mr. Moseley speak on the topic recently at one of his book signings, I understand why it's time to move on...I'm actually here to buy the newest McGill mystery, but after finishing The Long Fall in 2 days, I thought I would add a review here even though I read it the old fashioned way.
The Long Fall proves that Walter Mosley is a fine wine, getting better and better with time. The man is so gifted that reading the story was an experience in virtual reality. As I read I felt like I was holding my book with Leonid's rough boxer hands and seeing the world through his eyes. Aside from enjoying the private detective's fictious road to redemption, I learned a few applicable lessons. McGill says things that my own father would say, and that more kids should hear from men like him....Which brings me to Twill, another Mosley character who I can't wait to read more about. Twill is Leonid's 'son' and his sub plot is as dangerous and captivating as his father's.
Clearly I'm not great @writing book reviews :) mainly because I'm afraid to give away any of the goodies. Just know that it was a great read, and I'm sure it will be a great listen as well!