The Long Fall
AbeBooks Seller Since May 21, 2015Quantity Available: 2
AbeBooks Seller Since May 21, 2015Quantity Available: 2
About this Item
Title: The Long Fall
Publisher: Riverhead Books, New York
Publication Date: 2009
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: 1st Edition
About this title
His name is etched on the door of his Manhattan office: LEONID McGILL, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR. It’s a name that takes a little explaining, but he’s used to it. “Daddy was a communist and great-great- Granddaddy was a slave master from Scotland. You know, the black man’s family tree is mostly root. Whatever you see aboveground is only a hint at the real story.”
Ex-boxer, hard drinker, in a business that trades mostly in cash and favors: McGill’s an old-school P.I. working a city that’s gotten fancy all around him. Fancy or not, he has always managed to get by—keep a roof over the head of his wife and kids, and still manage a little fun on the side—mostly because he’s never been above taking a shady job for a quick buck. But like the city itself, McGill is turning over a new leaf, “decided to go from crooked to slightly bent.”
New York City in the twenty-first century is a city full of secrets—and still a place that reacts when you know where to poke and which string to pull. That’s exactly the kind of thing Leonid McGill knows how to do. As soon as The Long Fall begins, with McGill calling in old markers and greasing NYPD palms to unearth some seemingly harmless information for a high-paying client, he learns that even in this cleaned-up city, his commitment to the straight and narrow is going to be constantly tested.
And we learn that with this protagonist, this city, this time, Mosley has tapped a rich new vein that’s inspiring his best work since the classic Devil in a Blue Dress.
Watch a trailer for this book: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.
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