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The Long Fall (Leonid McGill #1)

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  2,197 ratings  ·  322 reviews
The widely praised New York Times bestseller, and Mosley's first new series since his acclaimed Easy Rawlins novels...

Leonid McGill is an ex-boxer and a hard drinker looking to clean up his act. He's an old-school P.I. working a New York City that's gotten a little too fancy all around him. But it's still full of dirty secrets, and as McGill unearths them, his commitmen
Paperback, 368 pages
Published February 2nd 2010 by NAL (first published 2009)
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Jason Koivu
A new series from Walter Mosley, huzzah!

Well, it's new to me. Mosley's been at the Leonid McGill series since 2009, about 20 years after he started putting out his popular Easy Rawlins books. But instead of rewinding time back to the race-war years of 1960s Los Angeles, The Long Fall takes us on a literary drive-by of a contemporary day-in-the-life of a New York City private investigator.

Leonid McGill, a 50 year old bruiser with a brain, must weave together a number of loose threads, some more
Will Byrnes
Mosley introduces here PI Leonid McGill, a short, broad, and boxer-tough black fifty-something, who, after a back-story crisis, is trying to lighten the shade of his moral ambiguity, and is easy to root for. He has a few laughs tossing out character names like Norman Fell and Thom Watson. There are plenty of characters here, so be prepared to keep a scorecard. Mosley has moved from mid-twentieth-century LA to twenty-first-century New York City, but his work retains the atmosphere one expects. Th ...more
You think you got problems? Just be glad you’re not Leonid McGill. Poor McGill is a private detective who used to specialize in blackmail and framing people to let others off the hook, but now he’s trying to turn over a new leaf and only take legitimate jobs. Staying on the straight and narrow isn’t easy. What should have been a simple case of finding four men takes a nasty turn when they start turning up dead. Leonid was used to find the guys so they could be murdered, and he looks to be next o ...more
I only came across Walter Mosley earlier this year, quickly reading and falling in love with the first couple of Easy Rawlins stories. The Long Fall is my first non Rawlins story I've read and I am equally impressed with the protagonist of this series: PI Leonid McGill.

This time the story is set in 2008 on the eve of the ascension of Barack Obama. It's New York and McGill has recently undergone an epiphany. He no longer wants to be the PI on call to shady characters whose employment leads invar
Walter Mosley's new P.I. series debuts with this title set in New York City in 2008. Leonid McGill is an ex-boxer with a family who has decided to turn over a new leaf. He's done with his rough-and-tumble past. Great minor characters, including "Hush" who reminds me of Mouse. Enjoyed the dream sequences and back story woven into the narrative. This series will get better in the subsequent titles.
Four cheers for "The Long Fall". This was good reading.

As I stated in one my status updates..there is really not much that I didn't like about this book. It's been a good long time since I read a Walter Mosley book. It's been so long that I think I technically forgot about Walter. I'm embarrassed to say because I know he is a great and heralded writer and his books are good. I think to be honest I noticed one of his books on someone's "to read" list and it jarred my memory. I'm glad I was able
Jim Leffert
When Walter Mosley tells a story, you can hear the voice of the first person narrator as you read. It’s not all that different from hearing a live storyteller by a fireside. In this engaging hard-boiled noir story, Mosley introduces a new hero, Leonid McGill. Leonid is a reformed freelance criminal operative who is trying to lead a more aboveboard and moral life -- no more killing, and if possible, no more working for people who want others killed. Like Mosley’s most famous protagonist, Easy Rol ...more
Walter Mosley’s The Long Fall is a mystery novel set in New York. The main character and narrator, Leonid, is perfection. A private investigator trying to balance what he believes is right and what is necessary to pay his rent and provide for his family. When he ignores his gut and takes the wrong case; inadvertently assisting in murder, he finds himself fighting for his life. Which is only the beginning of his problems, as his youngest son is also plotting a murder. There is a lot of back story ...more
SERIES: #1 of 2

Sometimes we readers are very unfair to our favorite authors. Once we really enjoy a series that they’ve written, we don’t ever want them to change. We want them to keep writing that series forever, since it brings us so much pleasure. Such is the case for me with Walter Mosley. I loved the Easy Rawlins books, and I never could warm up to the other new series that he created. Well, that situation has just changed after my r
Lars Guthrie
Wow. Mosley takes what he's expected to do—write a hard-boiled detective novel—and adds in some of what he's learned doing what he is not expected to do (in books like 'Blue Light,' or more recently, 'The Man in the Basement') to inaugurate a smashing new series.

Mosley moves the setting from Los Angeles in the past to Manhattan in the present day. No more 'Easy' or 'Fearless,' or even 'Socrates,' this guy is named Leonid, son of Tolstoy, brother to Nikita. His 'slave name,' as he says, is McGill
One of the major joys of reading Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins books is dropping oneself into the environment of the story, not just the place, but the people who inhabit the story's space. The first book of the new series, The Long Fall, is set in today's New York City, but most of the action takes place inside office buildings, apartments, and non-descript clubs. There is no feel for the streets of this huge city. The minor characters, with a couple of exceptions, aren't individualistic enough ...more
Mosley is that rare author who can be so incredibly subtle when he's right up in your face. I love his new character, Leonid (so named by a rabidly communist father), who is physically and mentally tough but oh so tender when it comes to his loved ones. I like that he has a disfunctional marriage but a functional love life. Lots of dichotemies in this fast-moving story.
Mosley, Walter. THE LONG FALL. (2009). ****. Take Easy Rawlins, put him into New York, Change his name to Leonid McGill, and give him a new menacing sidekick named Hush, and you have the beginning of a new series by Mosley. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good mystery, but a bit formulaic – especially in light of Mosley’s previous novels. It reads more like the usual once-a-year Robert Parker novel than the classic Mosley of Rawlinis fame. That’s not all bad, since Mosley was getting to be a bit of a ...more
30 or so pages into Mosley's first tale featuring Leonid McGill, Private Investigator, and I was preparing myself to be dissapointed. McGill obviously didn't share the same moral high ground as Mosley's most famous character but it was feeling a little like "Easy Rawlins on the East Coast." I was even preparing to forgive the author for the lack of originality. I knew he'd moved from the familiar surroundings of Los Angeles to New York himself. It wouldn't make sense for Easy to move back East a ...more
Walter Mosley has been one of my favorite writers for a while now. I’ve only read one of his science-fiction novels (The Wave, good read), but I’ve read a goodly portion of his mysteries. His stories are always uniquely his, even the ones that take place in a cliche-raddled genre like Detective Fiction.

And this is especially true in The Long Fall, the first in a series of books about Leonid McGill. McGill is a New York based private eye and an ex-boxer, so he’s already rife with qualities that m
Debbi Mack
Have I ever mentioned that Walter Mosley is one of my very favorite authors (crime fiction and otherwise) in the whole world? So when THE LONG FALL came out, needless to say I felt compelled to try this first book in his new Leonid McGill series set in New York City, instead of the LA of Easy Rawlins and Paris Minton.

Among the many things I enjoyed about this book was meeting Leonid McGill, another one of Mosley's flawed, but likable, protagonists, haunted by terrible (as in criminal) things he'
Mosley may have created the first post-George Bush detective: his new gumshoe Leonid McGill is a black man seeking to redeem himself and his City after years of turning a blind eye to the consequences of his own actions. McGill lives in a New York stripped of glamor after the stock market crash (it may be the first mystery I've read to mention Obama). The line between the legal and illegal is barely decipherable. It is the search for that line that motivates McGill and drives the book. The story ...more
After Dashiell Hammett, Chester Himes, and Jim Thompson comes Walter Mosley in the Noir oeuvre(at least for me). One of his latest creations is Leonid McGill, a shady PI trying to find redemption before the devil finds his door. The Long Fall is the first in the series. This has everything we've come to expect in Mosley and Noir--street wise urban philosophers, twisted family ties, at least 2 curveballs, and women to die for, if not willingly, through association.

McGill has a few problems: his f
Wilhelmina Jenkins
If I hadn't read the Easy Rawlins books, the Socrates Fortlow books, and the Fearless Jones books, this would probably be a 4 star book. As it is, Moseley has written so many good books that he's his own strongest competition. This new detective, Leonid McGill, has potential, and Mosley always has good characters and can tell a good story, but I just wasn't knocked over the way I am with others of Mosley's books.
I read this book as part of the Bookriot #readharder challenge for 2015 under the category "a book someone has recommended to you" (a friend from my book group).

This was an OK book. It's about a PI who thinks someone is out to kill him, as well as about his personal life. My main problem with the book is there's too many characters to keep straight, and the POV does sometimes flash back without much warning. So it was hard to keep track of what was going on. I also found some of the behaviors of
Leonid McGill is a P.I. with a shady past, a lot of guilt, a wife he doesn’t love whom he stands by anyway, a lot of powerful friends in low places, a devastating punch, and a need for money. So when he’s asked to track down some kids who got in trouble years ago, he reluctantly agrees, even though he knows all isn’t what it appears to be. The same is true of hunting down a mob accountant – he wants no more death on his hands, but he’s hardly in a position to refuse powerful gangsters. A short, ...more
Carl Brush
My last couple of books have been real work. Rewarding, but still work. So for a break, I turn to one of my favorites. I haven’t visited Walter Mosley for almost two years--August, 2008--when I was unimpressed with Blonde Faith. For The Long Fall, Mosely has asked Easy Rawlins to take a walk and has moved to NYC, where he’s taken up with Leonid McGill, a guy all us Mosley fans will be glad to meet.
Unlike Rawlins, McGill is a legitimate PI, not someone who falls into adventures out of a good hea
Susan  Odetta
Up until more than halfway through the book I thought Mosley's new character Leonid McGill was stereotypical and superficially "deep". The story didn't get in the way, but the story wasn't what I was was the characters. But by the time I finished I thought I might like to know more about Leonid McGill and more about his wife, his kid's both biological and otherwise, his soul-mate, maybe even a couple of his associates. I also love the way Mosley can sometimes put something down th ...more
The Long Fall by Walter Mosley introduces a new PI named Leonid McGill. A little background on McGill: He is African-American, average height, a boxer in a previous life, the son of a communist, married to a woman who had children by other men during their marriage and used to take on unscrupulous jobs if paid the right price. With all that said, McGill is trying to make up for his past by taking jobs that won’t ruin the lives of others. But sometimes getting out of the life is hard to do.

I was predisposed to not like this book. Easy Rawlins was my favorite PI, and I am sad to see Mosley move on. That said, he's off to a pretty good start with the new series.

There are things that don't work so well. Moving to modern times means Mosley has to deal with technology. His nerd character is as talented as anyone on 24, except when it comes to the one tech issue that would've spoiled the plot. Mosley also carried over some characters from the Rawlins series, at least in spirit. Mouse wa
Walter Mosley is back with a new noir type detective. Leonid McCall is a detective with a past of shady dealings. Assited by a group of contemporaies to deal with the world of NYC in 2008. The book is an ok mystery but serves as an intoduction some great charcters with interesting skills/issues. From a cold blooded killer named "Hush", to computer geniuses to a personal assistants that would make Moneypenny proud. Of course McCall's home life is dysfunctional with a wife who has strayed and brou ...more
Lewis Weinstein
I enjoyed Mosley's Easy Rawlins books. Now let's see what Leonid McGill is all about.

I'm about half-way through, and thoroughly confused, but enjoying the read. There are two ways to read a book like this. One way, the frustrating way, is to keep turning back to refresh your mind about characters you may have met 50 pages ago. The other way is just to go with the story, confident that Mosley will, sooner or later, make all clear. Guess which I have chosen?

Of course the pieces came together in th
Mosley is a skilful author. He manages to juggle themes of class and race, complex family dynamics, continuously rising stakes, multiple plotlines, and yet still somehow manages to give his characters time to breathe in really beautiful contemplative sections. The skill shown throughout most of the novel, especially considering how tight it is, is amazing.

Leonid McGill is a very, very fascinating and textured main character, and I'd love to read more about him (good thing I borrowed the next boo
Great summer reading. As much a mystery as an examination of how flaws and values affect the way people go through life. I love Mosley's gift for characterization and the irrepresible poetic sensibility that pops up throughout the book (for example, he dedicates another book "To Gary Phillips / The tenor sax of the noir genre"). I would have given it 5 stars, but sometimes I got so wrapped up in the insights on human behavior that I forgot what the mystery was. But that could be just because I f ...more
David Beeson
I don’t usually do bad reviews: if I find I’m not liking a book, I stop reading it. But in this case I persevered. And now I’m left wondering why.

It was John Grisham who set me going down this route. The Racketeer isn’t one of his best, but I enjoyed it all the same. Unusually, the protagonist is black, and on a couple of occasions, Grisham mentions that he’s reading a novel by Walter Mosley. I was unaware of this black thriller writer, and I thought I ought to give him a try.

It seems that The L
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Walter Mosley (b. 1952) is the author of the bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins, as well as numerous other works, from literary fiction and science fiction to a young adult novel and political monographs. His short fiction has been widely published, and his nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times Magazine and the Nation, among other publications. Mosley is the winner of numero ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Leonid McGill (5 books)
  • Known to Evil (Leonid McGill, #2)
  • When the Thrill Is Gone (Leonid McGill, #3)
  • All I Did Was Shoot My Man (Leonid McGill, #4)
  • And Sometimes I Wonder About You (Leonid McGill, #5)
Devil in a Blue Dress (Easy Rawlins #1) The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey Black Betty (Easy Rawlins #4) Little Scarlet (Easy Rawlins #9) Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned

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