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Known to Evil: A Leonid McGill Mystery
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Known to Evil: A Leonid McGill Mystery (Leonid McGill #2)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  1,123 ratings  ·  150 reviews
"The newest of the great fictional detectives" ("Boston Globe") from the "New York Times" bestselling author of the Easy Rawlins novels.
When New York private eye Leonid McGill is hired to check up on a vulnerable young woman, all he discovers is a bloody crime scene-and the woman gone missing. His client doesn't want her found. The reason will put everything McGill cheri
ebook, 336 pages
Published March 23rd 2010 by New American Library (first published 2010)
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James Thane
I've long been an avid fan of Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins series which was set in L.A., and which I think is one of the best and most inventive P.I. series that anyone's ever done. I confess that I'm not as knocked out by Mosley's new P.I., Leonid McGill, who is based in New York. But perhaps this is simply because I have such high expectations of Mosley based on the earlier series.

Leonid McGill is a man with a past, much of which he'd like to forget. He's done some things of which he's not pro
The second Leonid McGill crime novel. Leonid McGill, still haunted by the guilt of the bad things he used to do (or so he says, but the examples given of his supposed misdeeds seem very mild), is asked to track down a woman for “the most powerful man in New York.” He is also consumed with helping out a former victim who has just been arrested on baseless terrorism charges, rescuing his son’s girlfriend from her violent pimp, and managing the tightrope between his loveless marriage and the women ...more
Farah Ng
Walter Mosely is is highly praised for a number of things: 1) for being a bad-ass black writer, 2) for writing about horrific crimes and 3) for being one of the best American writers of all time.

I can confirm that all three of these praises are true! Known to Darkness features a black detective named Leonid McGill who straddles the line of legality dangerously. Involved with the deepest, darkest (I’m not referring to skin colour) criminals, Leonid also has friends in the police and enemies every
When last we talked about Leonid McGill, I worried that he and his world were too similar to those of the Easy Rawlins mysteries set on the opposite coast and 50 or 60 years prior. I had none of those concerns here. LT's his own man and, in Known to Evil, Mosley seems to forgo the familiar rhythms of his most famous character completely, learning a new way to play these songs.

I won't repeat what I said in my review of the first novel. What strikes me about Leonid in this tale is that, despite hi
SERIES: #2 of 2

Walter Mosley has had a long and illustrious career as a crime fiction writer. Best known for the Easy Rawlins series which followed the protagonist from the 1940s to the late 60s, Mosley concluded that series after eleven books. He flirted with a few other series (e.g., Paris Minton, Socrates Fortlaw) but now seems to be dedicating his time to a character introduced in 2009, Leonid McGill. McGill is a somewhat timeworn PI.
Walter Mosley may be a phenomenon, according to the Houston Press, but I can safely admit that Leonid McGill, the main character in Known To Evil, is a phenomenon in his own right. He’s a man with his own demons, multiple love interests, and an anvil for a fist. Leonid’s demons make him a character that practically bleeds off the page and into your living room, even though he’s a man that isn’t prone to do so. Much like the author, he gives everything he has, and then he adds a bit more. He puts ...more
Betty Zhuang
So reading more of the Leonid McGill series (especially at this pace) has made me more aware of the way this series operates, and also more aware of its flaws.

Maybe it's just because I'm not a regular mystery reader, but the plot through line of the books can often be convoluted and a little confusing, at least on the first read. While many of the characters are part of a repeating cast, many of them aren't, and I'll hit the ending with only a sketchy impression of how I actually got there.

I don't read much genre fiction (an occasional noir or sci fi). However, my son is a huge Walter Mosley fan, so I picked up Known to Evil for him from the remainder table at the local bookstore. I had to read it, of course, before passing it along to him, since no book crosses the threshold without being read (at least its first 100 pages). I'm not much of a plot fancier. That's not what I obsess about. What I do appreciate in PI noir fiction are the oh-so-flawed, worldly wise and worldly worn d ...more
Jim Leffert
Walter Mosley is one of my favorite storytellers in any genre—I’m excited when any new title of his appears. Known to Evil only partly rewarded my eager anticipation. It follows up on The Long Fall, a noir novel that introduced Leonid McGill, a New York City-based criminal operative extraordinaire (a fixer-for-hire who frames the innocent and provides alibis for the guilty) who has gone straight. McGill is trying to function on the sunnier side of the boundary between good and evil (but not alwa ...more
Lars Guthrie
Two novels in on Manhattan private eye Leonid McGill, I believe Walter Mosley has a keeper. This series, which Mosley has predicted will go on until a tenth, has staying power because McGill is so different than, say, Easy Rawlins. At the same time, he operates in a world depicted with as much gritty realism and street-corner philosophy as Mosley employs in his other stellar crime novels.

As with ‘The Long Fall,’ in 'Known to Evil' Leonid is juggling a couple of knotty cases as well as watching o
I've not read a lot of noir or neo-noir or detective fiction of any kind. But I've wanted to for a while. I couldn't have started with a better series than Walter Mosley's Leonid McGill books.

I've never been to New York City, but Mosley puts me in a version of New York City. It's a nasty, storied, soiled, scary, loathing version of New York. I'm not sure if it exists, and I hope it doesn't, and I admire Leonid McGill for navigating and surviving it. He doesn't thrive. He gets his ass kicked. He
Colleen Toporek
I love my Kindle: it is like an addiction. I add books and read them and forget them and repeat. Mosley is practically the only author I buy in hardcover every time because he is a flipping genius and I worship him. Does that sound overly vehement? This book is an amazing addition to his new Leonid McGill series and my only complaint was that it was too short. Mosley's writing is masterful, spare, powerful, exciting. The story is crammed with shady characters and explosive situations and gracefu ...more
Dianna Caley
I loved the first book in the series "the long fall". The main character Leonid is fascinating. He's complex, conflicted, witty, smart and charismatic. However, the end on this one felt a little too contrived. All the multiple story lines with the exception of those involving the Herod marriage and love life were tidily tied up. The ending in some ways echoed the ending of the first book in the series. This book is definitely worth reading, but if you want something to blow you away read the fir ...more
Vannessagrace Vannessagrace
Former criminal for the mob turned P.I. Leonid McGill’s son has run off with a sex slave and her pimp is after them both. Leonid’s ex-mistress boyfriend is trying to get Leonid kicked out of his prime office space and Alfonse Rinaldo, powerful controller of City Hall, wants Leonid to find a woman to learn if she is all right and who will not protect Leonid if he got hung-up by the police trying to find the woman.

Walter Mosley is the master in writing thrillers where there are few good guys. The
MK Brunskill-Cowen
Walter Mosley pens some of the most realistic characters and dialogue, and I really enjoy his Leonid McGill! This time McGill has been asked to find a young woman for a man that he can't refuse. Unfortunately, his sons have disappeared, a former "client" has been caught in a sting, and he winds up at the site of a double homicide - all at the same time. A fun mystery novel based on the gritty streets of NYC.
The contemporary NY setting for this book did not ring true for me at all. Maybe if I didn't live in NY I wouldn't have noticed. I liked the Easy Rawlins books but I didn't really like any of these characters and they didn't seem to fit into the warped NYC setting. If he had set the book in the 1970's it might have been OK, but it just didn't work for 2009.
I love Walter Mosley books, but have a hard time with Leonid McGill books. He doesn't seem as well drawn as other Mosley characters. In this book Leonid McGill has several problems. He has decided to turn his life around and follow the straight and narrow. Therefore he cannot leave his wife, who has affairs and leaves him all the time, so he stops seeing his girlfriend, Aura. His son has fallen in love with a former prostitute whose pimp will not free her. He is hired to find a girl who is being ...more
Wilhelmina Jenkins
This is the second entry in Mosley's Leonid McGill series. This is a perfectly good mystery and I will probably continue to follow the series, but so far, this series hasn't captured me the way that the Easy Rawlins series or even Mosley's Fearless series did.
Fun read. Alas, no more books by Walter Mosley at BPL.
Good one. Mosley has created an East Coast private eye and a set of complicated characters that are satisfying to know. A reviewer referred to his series as "noir." No way. Certainly, life for protagonist Leonid has its hopeless aspects, but so far the endings of books in the series deal nicely with the bad guys and give hope to those who are merely flawed. "Noir" would be the miserable "I Married a Dead Man," by Cornell Woolrich, which offers no hope, or the grimly fatalistic "Here Comes a Cand ...more
"Giving no answer worked better than words on that question" (27).
“'When you hit your fifties life starts comin' up on ya fast,' Gordo Tallman said to me on the occasion of my forty-ninth birthday. 'Before that time life is pretty much a straight climb. Wife looks up to you and the young kids are small enough, and the older kids smart enough, not to weigh you down. But then, just when you start puttin' on the pounds an' losin' your wind, the kids're expectin' you to fulfill your promises and the
Evelyn Bryant
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
My favorite Mosley work has been Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned. It is about a ex-con who is barely surviving in L.A. He does so by keeping to a strict regimen. The 14 stories in that book make a very enlightening read. Mosley is better known for his Rawlins mystery series. This new series perhaps combines the best of both in his P.I., Leonid McGill. With the setting (as I mentioned in my review of book 1, The Long Fall) based in New York City, there is an extremely broad possibility for e ...more
I've never read a Walter Mosley book before and he's supposed to be good, so I picked this one up for a driving-around book. The characters and plot seem OK, though they skirt close to generic lowlifes at times, everyone suspect, everyone with mixed motives, everyone a similar shade of gray.

But the reason I abandoned this book two CDs in was the god-awful audiobook narrator, one Mirron Willis. He has a very liquid voice, in the disturbing sense of audible lip-smackings and saliva movements—OK, s
Mosley has another winner on his hand with Known to Evil, which continues the story of private investigator Leonid McGill. As a favor for a powerful man, Leonid agrees to check on the welfare of a young woman, but when he arrives to her apartment building, Leonid immediately becomes a person of interest in a police murder investigation. In the apartment where Leonid was headed, a woman and a man are found dead. To prove his innocence to the police, Leonid must find out everything he can about th ...more
This is the 2nd book in the Leonid McGill series. This time around, McGill is investigating the disappearance of a young woman, in whom a prominent politician has a deep interest in. Within the 1st 50 pages, there is a double homicide, one of these homicides was intended for the missing woman, so the plot thickens and McGill finds himself within a twisted web of many different crimes, hitmen and conspiracies. In the meantime, his son has disappeared with a former sex-slave who is attempting to f ...more
I liked the Easy Rawlins series, but I'm not convinced about this one. Although this is the second in Mosley's series about Leonid McGill, a New York City private investigator, it's the first one that I read. Right from the first page, I felt that I was smack in the middle of a soap opera. Mosley doesn't ease you into his characters and their back stories; you are thrust in there right away. I found this disorienting.

The McGill series takes place in New York City, but it's not one that seems par
Known to Evil is a novel in Walter Mosley's series about PI Leonid McGill. It's not the latest book. I read the next book in the series before I read this one, so I had an idea of what was going to happen to some of the characters. This series, unlike the Easy Rawlins series, is set in contemporary New York City. Whereas the Easy Rawlins adventures evoke a vibrant Los Angeles right after WWII and up through the '60s, Leonid McGill's world is generally colorless and his relationships conflicted. ...more
Walter Mosley has written about 30 novels and he knows what he's doing. When I read THE LONG FALL, the first of the Leonid McGill stories, I was interested in the character but the course of the novel was bumpy. McGill had so much going on in both his personal and professional lives that it was hard to keep track.

KNOWN TO EVIL does not give McGill a break. Problems abound. But this time Mosley has it running smooth, like a twin-engined speedboat making a fast run to the Keys. McGill is not the m
We picked up this book at random needing something to read on a long cruise. So Mosley is new to us, but apparently he is well known for a lengthy series about an LA-based detective, Easy Rawlins. “Known”, however, is the second novel to feature NYC-based private eye Leonid McGill. McGill is striving to live a clean life as a crime solver after years of plying his “skills” in the criminal underworld. Unfortunately for we readers, that means his primary tactic in his new trade is to rely on his f ...more
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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)
  • The Long Fall (Leonid McGill, #1)
  • When the Thrill Is Gone (Leonid McGill, #3)
  • All I Did Was Shoot My Man (Leonid McGill, #4)
  • And Sometimes I Wonder About You: A Leonid McGill Mystery
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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