New Review: Walter Mosley’s THE LONG FALL

At the Barnes & Noble Review, I have my say on the first Leonid McGill mystery. Here’s how it opens:

Walter Mosley was not the first black crime writer, nor was he the first to fuse genre conventions with larger social concerns. But when Devil in a Blue Dress
introduced the Los Angeles-based private detective Easy Rawlins nearly
20 years ago, it was clear the author set out to stretch the boundaries
of the mystery and thriller framework. There were larger questions to
ask, more ambiguous answers to discover, and as filtered through the
complex world view of Easy's own loves and losses, they took on
additional and more identifiable resonance for the reader. As what
would become an 11-novel epic sequence unfolded, so did one of Mosley's
most ambitious aims — to chronicle the sea changes in American race
relations from the end of the Second World War to the beginning of the
civil rights movement.

Easy's quest effectively ended with Blonde Faith, but
Mosley remains a restless seeker of truth. He's spent his career, with
varying degrees of success, flitting in and out of different genres
such as science fiction (Blue Light), erotica (Diablerie), young adult (47), and more mainstream fare (the sorely underrated R.L.'s Dream), not to mention prescriptive non-fiction (What Next: An African American Initiative Toward World Peace) and advice (This Year You Write Your Novel).
But Mosley's innate compass keeps returning to his true north of crime
fiction — whether embodied in the lighthearted Fearless Jones trilogy
of detective novels or the darker, more episodic chronicles of
ex-convict Socrates Fortlow. Now, Mosley debuts an auspicious new
series teeming with questions more contemporary and more personal, and
answers even more difficult to tease out.

  Read on for the rest.