Thursday, April 23, 2015



*Book 4 of the Leonid McGill series*

A nifty little title. I like it. It refers to NY private detective Leonid McGill's new "client(?)" Zella Grisham, who recently served 8 years for not only shooting her boyfriend, but for being involved in a major robbery. As usual, Leonid is feeling the need to atone for past sins. Leonid is the one that planted the false evidence that implicated Zella in the heist. Now he means to get to the bottom of who was really behind it. 


The only thing cool about the plot is the title. One of the big issues here is that not only is that plot terribly boring, but Mosley also stacks too many other equally uninteresting mysteries, essentially weakening the effect of all of them. This seems to be a trademark in this series. It got to a point where I stopped caring about all the little issues that Leonid had to deal with. As a matter of fact it seemed like Mosley didn't really care that much either. It felt as if he just really enjoys writing these characters and, because he has the reputation of being a mysteries writer, felt as if he needed to come up with some thin mysteries to frame his characters around. The character that jump starts the whole story, Zella, is barely even shows up in the book! I've been noticing this trend of boring plots a lot in many detective stories and I'm getting a little tired of it. Don't get me wrong, character is very important, but there needs to be something else going on to keep me reading about the same people every book, and this series is getting a bit repetitive. This low rating might be a product of just getting tired of reading forgettable crime fiction.

That might be why I enjoy noir fiction over detective crime. The characters are sometimes more flawed and more engaging, and the plots and concepts are a lot more fresh and urgent. But don't get me wrong, I'm still a big fan of Mosley, but after catching up with this series after I read the next book, I'll focus more on his standalone work. I would've given this book a straight two stars but I wanted to give it a little extra for Mosley's usual good writing.

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