- Series: Fearless Jones Novels
- Hardcover: 316 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown; First Edition edition (July 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780316591126
- ISBN-13: 978-0316591126
- ASIN: 0316591122
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Customer Reviews: 66 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,822,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Fear Itself: A Fearless Jones Novel Hardcover – July, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
In this eagerly anticipated follow-up to Fearless Jones (2001), Watts bookstore owner Paris Minton and the dangerous but principled Fearless Jones tread the familiar territory mapped so successfully by Mosley's original detecting duo, Easy Rawlins and Raymond "Mouse" Alexander. The author depicts 1950s Los Angeles with his usual unerring accuracy, but a somewhat different dynamic drives his heroes. When Fearless drags the reluctant Paris into helping him look for Kit Mitchell (aka the Watermelon Man), their quest turns quickly murderous. Timid bookworm Paris gets caught in a deadly game of hide-and-seek whose players deal in lead, money and lies and include members of the fractured and fractious family of millionaire black businesswoman Winifred L. Fine. Neither Fearless nor Paris is sure who or what the various seekers are after-the missing Mitchell, a fabulous emerald pendant or a family diary-only that it's valued more than the lives lost trying to find it. A desire to aid his friend Fearless initially motivates Paris, but his journey becomes a voyage of self-discovery. While Paris possesses a narrative voice that's more literate and middle-class than that of the street-smart Easy, it should still resonate with Mosley's legions of fans.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
There's a fun conceit in the name of Mosley's Fearless Jones series: its namesake is not the protagonist but the protagonist's best friend. Simplifying the stability-versus-chaos dichotomy of Easy Rawlins and his friend Mouse (heroes of Mosley's most popular series), narrator Paris Minton is the brains to Fearless' brawn. Even more interesting, the deadly ex-soldier Fearless is good-natured and generous, while Paris, a scrawny bookseller and self-admitted coward, can be abrasive and self-serving. In the second installment, a nighttime knock on the door begins a complicated caper that starts with a missing person and ends with a half-dozen parties fighting over a valuable book. Fear Itself is infused with Mosley's typical thoughtfulness and telling details, although it's not quite as successful as his previous mysteries. Readers who love Mosley for his politics, settings, and characters may feel stinted by the generous plot machinations, which unfold largely in dialogue and employ so many characters that we don't get to know many of them well. And there's a central paradox that's addressed but not solved: if Paris is such a scaredy-cat, why does he keep plunging further into danger? After a slow beginning, the ending just misses being great when a last twist softens what would have been a perfect noir judgment on Paris. Not Mosley's best, but still plenty good. Keir Graff
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"...a colorful crime noir story with vivid characters that keeps the reader guessing until the very end..." -- Ebony, July 2003
"...the profound pleasures here are in his masterful evocation of a long gone Los Angeles..." -- Washington Post, 7/8/03
"...vibrant, colorful language...Mosley can still dazzle with an unexpected turn of phrase..." -- San Francisco Chronicle, 7/8/03
"...visceral moments are so plentiful that the question of whodunit feels almost irrelevant...A-" -- Entertainment Weekly, 7/8/03
"Mosley is a painter of a time and a place...we're richer for it..." -- LA Times, 7/6/03
From the Inside Flap
"Mosley is a painter of a time and a place...we're richer for it..." (LA Times, 7/6/03). "...a colorful crime noir story with vivid characters that keeps the reader guessing until the very end..." (Ebony, July 2003). "...visceral moments are so plentiful that the question of whodunit feels almost irrelevant...A-" (Entertainment Weekly, 7/8/03). "...the profound pleasures here are in his masterful evocation of a long gone Los Angeles..." (Washington Post, 7/8/03). "...vibrant, colorful language...Mosley can still dazzle with an unexpected turn of phrase..." (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/8/03).
About the Author
Walter Mosley is the author of the acclaimed Easy Rawlins mystery series, the novels Blue Light and RL's Dream, and two collections of stories featuring Socrates Fortlow, Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, for which he received the Anisfield-Wolf Award, and Walkin' the Dog. He lives in New York.
"Truly epic" - Laurell K. Hamilton Learn more
66 customer reviews
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FEAR ITSELF should please Mosley's legions of fans. Even the most ardent Easy fan should appreciate the characters and story here. A few characters from the Easy series make appearances here, or are mentioned.
This wasn't Mosley's best work, but it is still one of the two or three best books I've read this year. I've read Lehane, Connelly, Leonard and more recently, but Mosley is clearly on top of the pile right now. He's on top of his game right now. The other stars of the genre are good, but Mosley is great. Probably the only guy that matches him is George Pelecanos.
If you wish to do a true contrast/comparison read "Little Scarlet". The setting of both books is the same historical period where Paris Minton even makes a cameo appearance... it is obvious what I am talking about.
Excellent book, as usual, Mr. Mosley!