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5.0 out of 5 starsNot Easy Rawlins
Reviewed in the United States on January 2, 2020
This is another Walter Mosley character and he is very entertaining this Leonid McGill - a long time boxer of less than 5 feet six inches he CAN take car of himself and deduce facts with some speed. His family is rich in texture - a wholly original series.
3.0 out of 5 starsNot as good as Easy Rawlins novels.
Reviewed in the United States on August 13, 2017
I purchased the e-book version of this novel. First, the formatting of this e-book is terrible. Too much white space and too much space between paragraphs. It makes reading difficult. Second, I have been a Mosley fan for a long time and have read most of the Easy Rawlins novels. This is my first Leonid McGill novel. Although it is interesting, it cannot compare to the Rawlins series. The writing seems choppy and perhaps mixed up, but the story itself is interesting. I will finish this novel but I will have to think hard about buying another McGill novel
This was my first time reading a Walter Mosley title. The Long Fall was alright, Leonid McGill is a likable enough character. I believed him as a detective in New York City, I just felt that there were too many minor characters. I liked the fact that Walter Mosley showed different aspects of Leonid's life and how he balanced his nuances of other people's problems and solves them all including the cases he's actually paid to take care of for better worse. It's about a 60% chance that I would read another title from the series only to find out of it gets any better. Not horrible but not great either.
Walter Mosley is one of my favorite authors and I generally pick up his books whenever they come out. However, my life is busy and I don't always get to them right away. Then I can't find them without digging through boxes of other purchases. When I couldn't find my copy of The Long Fall, I gave up and went to the library and checked out an audiobook copy. I like audiobooks a lot too.
This book was a treat because it's definitely Mosley doing what he does best, but there was also the added bonus of Mirron Willis doing the reading. Willis has got a great voice and he's a solid vocal performer, managing to give all the characters (including the women) their own sound. A quick check showed me that Willis has done the new two volumes in the Leonid McGill series as well, so I'm really torn between listening to the next book or reading in.
The Long Fall is the start of a new series for Mosley. What's interesting is that he was living in New York while he was doing the Easy Rawlins series set in Los Angeles, and now he's doing a New York based series while living in Los Angeles. Maybe the heart just wants what it wants?
Either way, Mosley's view of New York is appealing and provocative. I have to say that, so far, I prefer Easy Rawlins's world in the 1940s to 1960s, but I'm just getting settled into the lifestyle of Leonid McGill, a fascinating private eye with a dark history.
The first book presents McGill in a quandary. He's been hired to discover the identity of four young men, but he doesn't know why. Unfortunately, he's been caught short on cash, so taking the job even after the hinky feeling doesn't work. He has to come through. When one of the guys he located goes on the lam and later turns up dead, McGill can't help but wonder what he unleashed by finding those men. And he feels responsible.
At the same time that McGill is dealing with that, things at home aren't doing so well either. The complicated family is a Mosley standard, but one that I enjoy a lot. Other readers as familiar with Mosley as I am are going to see Easy's adopted son Juice (Jesus) in McGill's son, Twill. The comparison is an easy one to make, except that Twill is a lot more talkative than Juice ever was. But their hearts beat the same.
McGill is also a man, like Easy, who doesn't have an easy path to love. His wife has cheated on him constantly in the past. She'll probably cheat on him again in the future. But for the moment he's trying to work things out with her on some level for their three children.
This book reminded me a lot of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe books, and I'm sure it was supposed to do that. But it made me think of Ross MacDonald's Lew Archer stories as well. Both of those are good company to keep, and I'm looking forward to the next book in this series.
4.0 out of 5 starsA great debut of another series from Walter Mosely
Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2011
The Long Fall introduces us to reformed crook, Leonid McGill, an African American PI working in New York. McGill is a former boxer, former criminal, and hopeless romantic who lives in a marriage where his wife is consistently unfaithful, but does provide a home life for their children, only one of which is his.
The relationship with the wife stretches credulity a bit, but the rest of this book works for me in so many ways. First of all, Mosely crafts characters who are compelling, quirky, and richly detailed. The only other author filling out such detail in back stories today is Philip Kerr with his fine and occasionally brilliant Bernie Gunther stories.
Leonid's father was an ardent communist organizer who disappeared into South America when Leonid was young, leaving his mother to despair and die. Leonid has been walking the mean streets of NYC ever since, haunted by the memory of his father. As we meet him in the book, he is wrapping up a case, which then unravels into unforeseen violence and a labyrinth-like plot. As I reflect on his plotting, I think of Chandler, especially The Lady in the Lake. Some of the reviews criticized Mosely's complex plotting. It requires the reader's attention, but Chandler did the same, and he worked out okay.
There's a rich selection of characters who surround Leonid like his brilliant but defiant son (in name only) Twill, Gordo who runs the boxing ring he still works out, and Aura, the woman he loves and is tempted to run away with. I know of no other author populating books with such a rich set of characters, with the exception of the fine books by Simon Kernick. One almost has to go back to Dickens to seen such a rich assortment of well crafted characters.
After finishing this book, I felt like I had taken my first turn around a raceway in a new Formula 2000 car. The first lap was great, but you just know that this series can run faster and farther, and I can't wait to read the next one in the series.
4.0 out of 5 starsGreat story, lots of characters but worth the read.
Reviewed in the United States on August 28, 2017
I love Walter Mosley's books. I read the third book in this series which was wonderful. The book begins the series. There were so many characters I had to go back and remember who was who. Overall its a great story, but way to many characters to keep track of. However, once you're done you've got to keep reading because Leonid McGill is such a different and intriguing character.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 29, 2012
It starts with a bit of hesitation, however do persevere beyond the first few chapters and by page 40 you are hooked. Why does such an experienced author hesitate, even fumble some key descriptions of the new character? Because it is difficult to create a new character so full of detail, depth, alive. Yes, Walter Mosley is a very good writer, even if he writes in a less respected genre as detective novels are, and yet he finds if difficult to get us started. Not easy for anybody, and yet he manages.
Great new line of stories, hang onto Leonid Mcgill. It is worthy it.
Following the demise of the much loved Easy Rawlins, this book introduces a quite different and very promising new protagonist. The depth of characterisation of subsidiary characters augers well for another classic series. Though set in today's New York, the story has the style and feel of a 1940s Noir, perhaps hinted at by the Chandleresque title. The interweaving plot lines and depiction of a murky demi world add depth and interest to the central narrative. My experience of this book was via the Unabridged Auiobook on CD. It is narrated by Mirron Willis, who is a great fit for the main character and the story. Having come late to this book, I now have the luxury of three unread sequels, but not for long!