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Publisher's Summary

"Mosley writes with great power here about themes that have permeated his work: institutional racism, political corruption, and the ways that both of these issues affect not only society at large but also the inner lives of individual men and women." (Booklist, starred review)

Joe King Oliver was one of the NYPD's finest investigators, until, dispatched to arrest a well-heeled car thief, he is framed for assault by his enemies within the NYPD, a charge which lands him in solitary at Rikers Island.

A decade later, King is a private detective, running his agency with the help of his teenage daughter, Aja-Denise. Broken by the brutality he suffered and committed in equal measure while behind bars, his work and his daughter are the only light in his solitary life. When he receives a card in the mail from the woman who admits she was paid to frame him those years ago, King realizes that he has no choice but to take his own case: figuring out who on the force wanted him disposed of - and why.

Running in parallel with King's own quest for justice is the case of a Black radical journalist accused of killing two on-duty police officers who had been abusing their badges to traffic in drugs and women within the city's poorest neighborhoods.

Joined by Melquarth Frost, a brilliant sociopath, our hero must beat dirty cops and dirtier bankers, craven lawyers, and above all keep his daughter far from the underworld in which he works. All the while, two lives hang in the balance: King's client's, and King's own.

©2018 Walter Mosley (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Rekindles some of the remarkable energy that drove the early Rawlins novels.... Mosley writes with great power here about themes that have permeated his work: institutional racism, political corruption, and the ways that both of these issues affect not only society at large but also the inner lives of individual men and women. And he has created a new hero in Joe Oliver with the depth and vulnerability to sustain what readers will hope becomes a new series.... It's the perfect moment for Mosley to unveil an exciting new hero and a series set in the present and confronting the issues that drive today's headlines." (Booklist, starred review)

"[An] excellent standalone... The novel's dedication - to Malcolm, Medgar, and Martin - underlines the difference that one man can make in the fight for justice." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

"It's Mosley's signature style - rough-hewn, rhythmic, and lyrical - that makes you ready and eager for whatever he's serving up.... Let the good times roll." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Think rich, dark, smooth red wine - each sip revealing different tones. That is Dion Graham's voice performing Mosley's P.I., Joe King Oliver.... Graham is skilled at delivering female voices. The dialogue between people of different races, levels of education, and types of work flows flawlessly, making for highly engaging listening." (AudioFile)  

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    53

Performance

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    447
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    179
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great story

I usually do not choose detective novels. Did so because it was narrated by Dion Graham. As with all his work, he makes the author's words come to life. I listened to this book in two sittings. That should give you an idea of how well it will keep your interest.

65 of 65 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

So.Damn.Good.

A long time fan, it comes as no surprise to experience the robust and satisfying performance of Walter Mosley’s writing. I tried to make it last but gave in to the greed for more and manage to organize the hell out of my closet as I did - at times even laughing out loud or cringing at descriptions all too apt. Thank you, this did not disappoint.

87 of 88 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Carl U.
  • Marin County, California
  • 08-07-18

Just a bit short of Mosley's best

This is classic Walter Mosley and I really enjoyed listening to the book. It seems a bit more contrived than other books of his but it's still a very enjoyable story and well written. If you're a Mosley fan you'll really like this. If you're new to Mosley I suggest starting with some of his earlier works, especially the Easy Rawlins series.

27 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Audio book!

I liked the book. I will be listening to this again. I got a little lost making the connection with King and all of his cases. Overall, it had just the right amount of mystery, love, and drama.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not Moseley’s best

I enjoyed the usual techniques used my Mr. Moseley. But this felt like a cookie cutter story and did not have the uniqueness of his earlier works. And I have read them all. But, the reading was excellent. Hats off to Dion Graham

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Thoughtful mystery

What did you like best about this story?

I wanted a mystery that wasn't graphically violent but also not syrupy. I got more than I was looking for. It can be read as a straight up mystery. It can also be read as an allegory. I also liked that it wasn't about murder and that the emphasis wasn't as much on who-done-it as it was on how the solution would unfold and what the characters learned along the way.

What does Dion Graham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His tone is relevant and so very easy to listen to, which was especially refreshing after my last Audible selection.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Listened over two days while I was working on a project.

Any additional comments?

I am probably not consistent in the way I give four and five stars. I try to save five for the very best of the best books I have read.

49 of 52 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Scott
  • Moss Beach, CA, United States
  • 06-13-18

The Perfect Match of Book and Narrator

Mosley's cadence and pacing is on full display here. It was like a 500 piece puzzle, sometimes a little too complex for me to follow, but the characters had moral conundrums to weather and it was fascinating watching how the progression of the mystery affected the characters' attitudes, assumptions, and moral codes. Dion Graham was so good I could always tell by the intonation which characters was speaking.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dave
  • Whittier, CA
  • 05-15-18

The Devil's in the Details of Redemption

Joe King Oliver needs the help of a devil to finally find some redemption. Framed over a decade ago and kicked off the police force, he's finally ready to re-examine the case that cost him his career, his family, and his lifestyle.

This one was entertaining, but it didn't work as well for me as some of the other Mosley series I've read. Joe King Oliver isn't quite as likeable as Easy Rawlins or Paris Minton. Maybe part of it is the setting -- I'm a sucker for the historic LA that both Rawlins and Minton inhabit. But it feels like Mosley was rushing a little too fast in places. The story begins with Oliver being framed and going to Riker's Island, where he loses everything and is emotionally traumatized by the event throughout the rest of the book. In the second chapter, we just back to present time -- a decade later. That first chapter breezes by so fast, I don't know if I ever really bought all of King's trauma and loss of identity the way Mosley seemed to be wanting me to. Additionally, some of the revelations Oliver discovers toward the end of the book seemed a little bit obvious to us from the get go. (Admittedly, it's hard to me to believe that a womanizer of King's caliber quit that particular game for a decade.) Still, Mosley is a pretty incredible writing, so I'm inclined to be a little bit forgiving about some of these criticisms.

One thing is certain -- Dion Graham's narration is perfection. His voices for the different characters could fool you into thinking it's a full cast performance. Things become more exciting when Oliver enlists the help of a criminal Melquarth Frost. (Mosley seems to always love a morally bankrupt tough guy playing foil to the good cop/detective.)

Though it didn't work as well for me as some of Mosley's others, I wouldn't be opposed to trying another book with the same characters, especially if Graham returns. There's enough here to leave me cautiously optimistic for the next tale.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Slow start grows

I was poised to dislike this new Mosley character. "Get on with it!" was my attitude toward this whiney fake Leonid. He is worthy! Well worth the wait, he doesn't disappoint.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kareen
  • Phelan, CA, United States
  • 07-22-18

Another winner by a fabulous author!

Loved this book. Mr. Mosley never disappoints! Highly recommend this one. A fabulous author!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful