I’ve been going through Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins series the last few years and mostly enjoying it. He’s a good writer with a solid sense of time (post-WWII Los Angeles), a compelling character, and a point-of-view that many readers don’t get from “mainstream” (re: dominantly white) mystery writers.
I hadn’t thought much of reading his Leonid McGill series, which is basically Easy Rawlins set in New York in contemporary times. But as I’ve been on a big New York City reading kick lately, I figured I’d give it a try.
And I’m glad I did, for I discovered yet another new private eye series.
What’s interesting about The Long Fall, and what took me most of the length of the book to appreciate, is how Mosley drops you into McGill’s situation expecting you to keep up. It’s implied many times throughout the story that McGill used to run with a rough crowd doing bad things. And that sets the tone for who he is and what he’s trying to do. If Easy Rawlins is battle scarred from WWII and the uphill climb against Jim Crow, Leonid McGill is battle scarred with the underworld and an America that has changed but not fast enough.
The mystery takes awhile to really unfold and early on, this left me frustrated. Plotting is not always Mosley’s strong suit. But as it picked up steam, the bread crumbs detailing McGill’s past become more relevant and it forms into a cohesive story that had me furiously page-turning by the end.
I might give the Easy Rawlins series a break so I can binge this one. I liked Leonid despite his rough edges and I like the New York Mosley is building here.