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The Long Fall: The First Leonid McGill Mystery    by Walter Mosley order for
Long Fall
by Walter Mosley
Order:  USA  Can
Riverhead, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Tim Davis

Here is another exemplary mystery and the superb initial offering in a new series from Walter Mosley, the distinguished author of 10 Easy Rawlins mysteries, 15 other novels, and 2 nonfiction books.

Mosley's new protagonist in The Long Fall, the New York City private detective Leonid Trotter McGill has a unique view of life: he doesn't believe in innocence, and he knows that virtue doesn't necessarily pay the rent and put food on the table. And so, with that as his mindset, McGill struggles and sometimes cuts corners to make ends meet as a gumshoe-for-hire in the Big Apple.

McGill, when the action begins, has taken on a job that strikes him as a bit fishy at the outset, but - as he reasons - the bills need to be paid. The job is simple: find four men. He doesn't have much to go on because he only has their old nicknames, but McGill is resourceful and the men are quickly discovered.

Just as quickly, though, people involved in the ostensibly simple case begin getting themselves murdered, and - not quite as quickly - McGill begins to realize he has been caught in the middle as the patsy in a very dangerous cat-and-mouse game with its roots hidden deeply in questionable sanity and ferocious revenge.

Now, McGill begins to feel as though his life has become 'one long tumble off the side of a mountain.' While experiencing some of 'the most disheartening moments' of his 'deeply unsatisfying life,' the former boxer, hard drinker, and hard working McGill now must face a very grave challenge: staying alive.

The Long Fall is a first-class contemporary urban noir adventure. Honestly, in my humble opinion, the master storyteller Walter Mosley continues to get better and better, even after dozens of books, which seems impossible, and the first Leonid McGill mystery may be his absolute best. Don't miss it!

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