‘The Long Fall’
by Walter Mosley
The buzzword for today is “networking.”
Networking is easy; you’ve probably been doing it all your life and barely realized it. You tell friends about a good hairdresser, a decent mechanic, a trustworthy housecleaner. They, in turn, give you names of a good accountant, a decent tutor, a trustworthy babysitter. You make connections. You put people in touch with others.
That “six degrees of separation” stuff is no lie.
It’s not what you know, but who you know that makes life turn. But in the new novel “The Long Fall” (c.2009, Riverhead Books, $25.95 / $28.50 Canada, 320 pages) by Walter Mosley, who you knew could get you killed.
When a man wants to turn a new leaf and “go from crooked to only slightly bent,” he tries to stay away from things that get him into trouble. But private eye Leonid (Father was a Communist) McGill (grandpa’s slave name) couldn’t seem to shake the bad that followed him.
It was supposed to just be a job, nothing cloak-and-dagger. Straight-laced Ambrose Thurman, a man McGill only knew through phone calls, needed the real names of four boys who served time as juveniles more than a decade ago. Thurman’s anonymous client wanted the names, nothing else. Knowing a cop who owed him, McGill got the info. But something wasn’t right. After he handed the names over, he regretted finding those boys-now-men.
He regretted it for good reason. First one, then another of those boys was beaten to death and Thurman was found dead in a bathtub. When a behemoth broke into McGill’s office sanctuary and tried to knock the life out of him, the cops arrested the giant man but they wanted to pin everything–including the murders–on McGill.
It didn’t make sense.
McGill didn’t know the giant man, and he had only met Thurman once. Maybe Tony the Suit, a small-time gangster who was pressing McGill to find a former nemesis, was angry that McGill wasn’t moving fast enough. Perhaps the most powerful man in New York City was behind the attempted assault.
And as if trying to save your own life isn’t enough, McGill knew that his son, Twill, was about to do something dumb. McGill had to save his boy from a long fall, too.
Fans of Easy Rawlins, author Walter Mosley’s most beloved, and possibly-killed-off character, can rest Easy: you will absolutely love Leonid McGill. I seriously can’t think of a better successor to Rawlins’ literary legacy than this new, very fine PI.
“The Long Fall” starts out with a slam-bang. Its dark-toned noir-ness lets you know you’re in for something special. Unfortunately, the story gets off-track toward the end and was, I thought, rather implausible. Suffice it to say that there are some very odd, unbelievable characters that belong more in an old Bette Davis movie than in a modern-setting mystery.
Excited Mosley fans will want to read “The Long Fall,” if for no other reason than to meet McGill. If you’ve never read Mosley’s stuff, though, this isn’t the best novel to start with, find something Easy instead.
The detective is arguably as much a cultural icon as the cowboy in the pantheon of American mythology. The offspring of myriad traditions both home-grown and abroad, the detective matured in the wake of the Depression by writers voicing the public’s erosion of faith in the established institutions meant to bind the fabric of society.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A settlement was reached in a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by a former assistant to the Wayans brothers against the joke-telling family over a humor book about women who prey upon wealthy men, court papers show.
Jared Edwards claimed in the lawsuit he filed in federal court in Los Angeles in 2009 that during the 10 years he worked as a personal assistant to Keenen, Shawn and Marlon Wayans, he came up with the idea for a joke book about women on the prowl for “sugar daddies.”
CHICAGO, Ill.—Celebrated matrimonial attorney and historian Jeffery M. Leving will be donating an original 1855 first edition of My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass to Chicago State University Foundation at Chicago’s Union League Club on May 19. Frederick Douglass’ great great grandson Gordon Bell will be in attendance for the book donation.
We’ve all heard the sad statistics before and wondered about the future of our community; with so many men and women incarcerated. For years, conspiracy theorists have pointed to the same statistics and claimed that people of color are purposefully targeted and how the prison system is akin to the old Jim Crow system.
“For a long time I resisted the comparison,” author Michelle Alexander said. “I thought people who made those kinds of claims were doing more harm than good.
If you’ve been watching television then you know there are a number of new shows on the horizon that start this month. I pay close attention to the promos, because I’m always looking for Black and other ethnic faces that I haven’t seen before or familiar faces turning to the small screen for work. And you know I always look for Black actresses who are usually the last to be hired and in less meatier roles, but sometimes hit the jackpot, like Jennifer Beals.