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The Long Fall: The First Leonid McGill Mystery (Leonid McGill series Book 1) by [Mosley, Walter]
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Editorial Reviews Review

Amazon Exclusive: Walter Mosley on Leonid McGill

My new detective series about the bad-guy-turned-good, Leonid McGill, has been a long time coming. As many of you know I cut my writing teeth on the Easy Rawlins series. Those novels are concerned with a time in L.A. (and America) when life was simple, black and white so to speak. Easy was an invisible soldier in an undeclared war where survival meant breaking the rules, and the laws, of a nation where inequality was the standard and class was a tattoo indelibly wrought on its citizens’ skins.

Leonid McGill, on the other hand, lives in the modern world. Rather than being a victim, he has spent his entire life as a victimizer working for professional criminals and other miscreants. He’s done jobs for the mob and bent businessmen looking to cut their losses; he’s robbed Peter to pay Paul and then turned in Paul for tax evasion.

In brief – Leonid McGill has not been a good man.

But Leonid has gotten as good as he’s given. Abandoned by his union organizing father at the age of twelve, Leonid watched his mother die of a broken heart within the next year. He’s gone from orphanage to foster home to the streets – fighting hard and never taking a backward step. He trained to be a boxer but found the ring of life to be a more suitable war.

Leonid is married with three children (though only one of them is his by blood). He and his wife have a relationship of sorts but there is little love in that bond. One gets the feeling that the only reason he hasn’t left this loveless union is that he just doesn’t know how to back down in a fight.

New York is not only McGill’s home but also the atmosphere he needs to survive. The city is his constitution and his nation. And so one day when he wakes up to realize that he has been on the wrong path for all of his fifty-odd years, Leonid does not abandon his home. Instead he decides to change direction against all the wrong that he’s done. Leonid is a man looking for redemption among the people he’s wronged in the city that he has betrayed.

This challenge will be the hardest battle the aging P.I. has ever taken on. The police have a lieutenant whose only assignment is bringing Leonid down. The mob has its hooks into Leonid, refusing to accept his resolve to go straight. His favorite teenage son Twill (the product of one his wife’s many affairs) is a loveable, and loving, sociopath who needs his father to run interference for the complex and brilliant troubles he gets into.

To say the least: Leonid is not your everyday detective. He is plagued by the deeds and victims of his criminal past and is therefore uncertain about the future. He has found love but holds back because of his hollow marriage. He is offered many jobs but often finds that the work itself unravels his vow to go straight.

Leonid’s human body and flawed past makes him a microcosm of America at a time when we are trying to turn the tide of history. He’s a hard-boiled hero in harder-still times; a six to one underdog in the most important fight of his life – or ours.

Easy Rawlins lived in my father’s world and the world of my father’s, and my own, people. Leonid McGill, however, lives in a world writ large. In Leonid’s America the truth is never only skin deep. And so to get at the underlying reality you definitely have to shed some blood.

Leonid is ready to bleed for what he now knows is right. He is a hero of the first order because he fights on with no promise, or even an inkling, of victory.

From Publishers Weekly

Mosley leaves behind the Los Angeles setting of his Easy Rawlins and Fearless Jones series (Devil in a Blue Dress, etc.) to introduce Leonid McGill, a New York City private detective, who promises to be as complex and rewarding a character as Mosley's ever produced. McGill, a 53-year-old former boxer who's still a fighter, finds out that putting his past life behind him isn't easy when someone like Tony The Suit Towers expects you to do a job; when an Albany PI hires you to track down four men known only by their youthful street names; and when your 16-year-old son, Twill, is getting in over his head with a suicidal girl. McGill shares Easy's knack for earning powerful friends by performing favors and has some of the toughness of Fearless, but he's got his own dark secrets and hard-won philosophy. New York's racial stew is different than Los Angeles's, and Mosley stirs the pot and concocts a perfect milieu for an engaging new hero and an entertaining new series. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 717 KB
  • Print Length: 318 pages
  • Publisher: NAL (January 17, 2009)
  • Publication Date: March 24, 2009
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001PYO3AI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,625 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By emmejay VINE VOICE on March 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
THE LONG FALL is the first book in Walter Mosley's new noir-ish series featuring the fiftysomething New York City private investigator, Leonid Trotter McGill ("LT"). Like other Mosley protagonists, LT is a smart, reflective observer, complex in his ethics and relationships in ways that intrigue readers and make them care deeply. He's a boxer with a Buddhist philosophy -- "Throwing a punch is the yang of a boxer's life. The yin is being able to avoid getting hit" -- and admits to having thrown enough yang that he's now changed his life "from crooked to only slightly bent."

The novel opens as LT seemingly nears completion of his current case -- locating four men who knew each other as boys -- but when accumulating troubles start to test his yin, the story takes off. Unfortunately, it took off without me, as I became lost in unfamiliar minor characters and could only half-follow the storyline. I finally stopped to re-read the first five chapters and discovered why: nearly 40 characters are introduced in those 30 pages, but few are adequately unpacked.

Still, I read Mosley for his settings and main characters, and the ones here have terrific series potential -- people and places that are unlike me in the ways that intrigue ... and deeply familiar in the ways that matter.
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Format: Hardcover
Walter Mosley's The Long Fall is a mystery novel set in New York. The main character and narrator, Leonid, is perfection. A private investigator trying to balance what he believes is right and what is necessary to pay his rent and provide for his family. When he ignores his gut and takes the wrong case; inadvertently assisting in murder, he finds himself fighting for his life. Which is only the beginning of his problems, as his youngest son is also plotting a murder. There is a lot of back story and compelling family drama intermixed with the front burner story line--the book is obviously a series launch.

The plot is very intricate (sometimes predictable), but the structure and pace become consuming. I had some difficulty understanding how Leonid came up with some of his conclusions, but it could be that I was racing through the pages.

When I wasn't reading this book, I wanted to be reading this book. The Long Fall is as near a perfect mystery as I have read lately. I am looking forward to the next installment of the series.
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Format: Paperback
I never read the Easy Rawlins books. Maybe I should, because I'm in love with private investigator Leonid McGill at his very first appearance in The Long Fall.

LT (middle name Trotter) is a 53-year-old black man "two inches shorter and forty pounds heavier than a man should be." He's all muscle, a trained boxer, though he doesn't box. He has an unfaithful wife he doesn't love, and only one of their kids is biologically his. His favorite son is not his real son.

He can't be with the woman he really loves because his family needs him.

As an adolescent LT divided his leisure time between art museums and the boxing gym. He's very well read for a guy who earns a living doing shady deals.

LT never kills people, but his expertise has been used by the kinds of people who do kill. We meet him at a turning point in life. He's having too many nightmares. From now on instead of being crooked, he hopes to be only slightly bent. He's practicing meditation to help deal with his guilty past.

LT has a deadly talent. He can locate anybody, no matter how well hidden. In this book the bad guys are using LT again, but very cleverly, so that he only finds out when people start dying in his wake. He doesn't like it one bit, especially when his own name joins the hit list. Finding the mastermind behind the slaughter takes LT into some strange and frightening places. Be prepared for a complex plot with fascinating subplots!

Walter Mosley has written a wonderful book full of quirky characters and utterly engaging human dilemmas.
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Format: Hardcover
Love the Mosley books. The Long Fall's protagonist, Leonid, is a tough likable detective. He is trying to change from a predator who makes a living off the stupidity of humanity to one who now through self awareness chooses to help them. Leonid's problems are many; he is attached to his wife but they are not in love, and yet cannot leave his wife for a mistress that he does love, his children are troublesome, and his job demands violence and mayhem which he is beginning to find repulsive. What I particularly like is the honesty of Leonid. His stream of consciousness revelations are startling. His relationship with his three interesting children allows the reader to see how the affection for his children affects how he deals with his clients whom he is trying, together with himself, to navigate to safety. What is gripping is some of Leonids plans will not work. He is not in control of other people and their violence will cause him to protect himself by being hard nosed and if necessary violent. Leonid's confusion and doubts about his job but never about protecting his family resonates with me.
I like the way Mosley builds his book. The answers to the many questions begin to resolve only towards the end of the book. Keeping me interested right to the the finish. Nicely done Mr. Mosley.
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