Leonid Trotter McGill (LT for short) is a black man in his early 50s. Mosley blesses him with my favorite sort of description — brief but evocative: he is ‘two inches shorter and forty pounds heavier than a man should be.’ He's got the muscle and moves of a trained boxer, although he only hits the heavy bag. It is as if life itself is his arena and his opponents don’t wear gloves. It would be one thing if McGill was a modern day knight, but instead he’s a man with a dark past. His goals are realistic. Instead of being completely crooked, he aspires to be only slightly bent. He tries meditation to help deal with his guilty past but it becomes apparent that the only way to get out is to beat his way out with the very hands he has tried to clean up.
Leonid is a complex character who represents the dichotomy of modern-day New York City. New York has given itself a nice, clean face-lift, but its seamy underbelly remains. Leonid McGill has a foot in two worlds, both ruthless and civilized, a PI with a dark past trying to go straight. It is as if he is trying to reform himself to match the face of the city’s effort to become more civil, more mature, but is betrayed by what feels like nearly everyone around him.
And then there is the matter of the nightmares, falling dreams where even his subconscious doesn’t believe he’s capable of any true reform. He is not capable of lucid dreaming, where the dreamer is aware enough to change the apparent script of the dream, so he must content himself with his actions while awake.
The good news is that LT has formidable talent. For instance, he can locate anyone, and he supplants his meager income with apparently noble work by finding people. However, the unspoken underworld knows this going in and uses that against him, a chilling fact he only discovers when the people he finds start turning up dead, and he deduces he’s next on the list.
Leonid McGill has two sets of strong goals, survival itself using only the skills he’s limited himself to, and the overt goal of discovering the identity of the powerful mystery antagonist who wants him dead. Along the way, Walter Mosley’s pared-down first person language is wry and knowing and sad. He manages the trick of creating a new noir that captures the very best elements of the classics which have gone on before.
They say the longest journey starts with the first step. Leonid McGill shows there is a certain nobility in being brave enough to simply take that first step.
Linda Apple is the author of Writing From Your Soul, Writing Life ~ Your Stories Matter, Connect ~ A Simple Guide to Public Speaking for Writers, POW; Promises Kept and Women Of Washington Avenue, her debut novel and the first book in her Moonlight Mississippi series. Her personal experience stories have been published in 16 of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Her devotions have been published in numerous devotion magazines and books. She lives in Fayetteville Arkansas with her husband, Neal, their five children, five children-in-love, and ten grandchildren.
Jody Bailey Day writes inspirational fiction from west Texas. Her debut novel, Washout Express, released June 2013 from Harbourlight Books. Her short stories, poems, devotionals, and articles have appeared in Mature Living, Splickety Magazine, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Southern Writers Magazine, and Christiandevotions.us, She is a two time Grand Prize Winner at the East Texas Christian Writers Conference, and a Faithwriters.com Best of the Best award winner. She and her pastor husband have six grown children and nine grandchildren.
Deborah Dee Harper writes from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, by way of Michigan, Kentucky, Alaska, Mississippi, and Alaska (again). Deb is a graduate of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild classes and writes Christian humorous and inspirational books for both children and adults. Her children’s adventure series, Laramie on the Lam, available in both e-book and print, is being re-published as six individual print books. Her Road’s End series (Misstep, Faux Pas, and Misjudge) for adults is also contracted and should be published soon. She is currently nearing completion on the first book of another series. She is represented by Terry Burns of Hartline Literary Agency.
Lisa Lickel is an award-winning multi-published inspirational novelist, blogger, reviewer, and writing mentor. A freelance editor, Lisa loves all things historical. Her work has appeared in Writer's Digest and Christian Fiction Online.
Liberty Speidel has been a voracious reader since reading her first Nancy Drew book. But she was telling stories long before then with her figurines from Disney's Rescue Rangers. When she's not writing, you may find her gardening, baking, crocheting, or hiking. A lifelong Kansan, she now resides in the Kansas City metro area with her husband, children, and chocolate Labrador, where she could rival Captain Jean Luc Picard in consumption of Earl Grey tea. She is the author of Emergence, Retaliation, and Capitulation, novellas and novels in her series featuring superhuman and police detective Darby Shaw.
Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he earned a PhD in English literature (Renaissance) and for eighteen years taught literature at two liberal arts colleges. His poetry has appeared in leading journals and is collected in his book Dust and Diamond: Poems of Earth and Beyond.His fiction includes a light-hearted mystery, Rhapsody in Red, and two suspense novels, Deadly Addictive and The Lazarus File, and a historical romance, Lightning on a Quiet Night. He is a frequent speaker at writers’ groups and conferences. He lives near Houston, TX, where he continues to write fiction and poetry, as well as essays on writing, ethical issues, and U.S. foreign policy.
Editor/Author Linda Yezak lives with her husband in a forest in east Texas, where tall tales abound and exaggeration is an art form. She is a speaker/lecturer for various writers' groups and conferences. Her fiction books include Give the Lady a Ride, The Simulacrum, and The Cat Lady's Secret. Her nonfiction books include Writing in Obedience, co-written with Hartline Literary agent Terry Burns.
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