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Monday, April 20, 2009

The Long Fall by Walter Mosely

Leonid Trotter McGill is a highly unusual name for a black man, but LT (as he is known) had a father who was a communist. LT is a 50ish short rotund private detective who is "going from crooked to slightly bent" or in other words, trying to better himself. Tough to do with his history.

He's in a loveless marriage with a Nordic woman named Katrina, and father to 3 children, only 2 of which are actually his. He is in love with his building manager, a woman named Aura.


LT gets hired to find 4 black men and when he does, they start turning up dead and someone tries to kill him as well. He is also trying to keep his son Twill from doing something stupid like killing his friend's father.
It is written in the first person so we get to read LT's internal dialogue, kind of a noir style like something Humphrey Bogart would portray. Because it is written that way, there are lots of meandering and off-the-subject comments. It helps you get to know LT's character really well but I also found it a bit distracting. There were a lot of characters for a book that isn't very long and it got confusing at times. The plot regularly got lost in the wealth of characters and side commentary. I liked LT but can't say I really liked the book.
The language was clean until over a hundred pages in, and then it goes downhill from there. There is a prisoner who is especially bad. Rated R for language.

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