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Known to Evil (Leonid McGill #2)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  1,620 Ratings  ·  185 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
Mahoghani 23
Leonid McGill is becoming one of my favorite characters ever written by any author. The network of contacts he has at his disposal is amazing. His strength never wavers and he endures whatever comes his way. He understands his faults and wrongdoings and trying to take steps to correct them. His M.O. is bartering; you don't have to pay him, just don't forget you owe him a favor.

There are multiple daggers coming towards Leonid. From his wife returning after leaving him for a banker, his sons' get
Oct 20, 2012 Ensiform rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
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
Mar 25, 2010 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 04, 2010 Maddy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
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.
Apr 19, 2012 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Farah Ng
Nov 15, 2011 Farah Ng rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Sep 12, 2011 Paula rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Lars Guthrie
Oct 29, 2010 Lars Guthrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 03, 2015 Lorna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
A good second entry in the series, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the first one.

Leonid McGill has too many tricks up his sleeve and too many people who conveniently owe him favors. While Tiny "Bug" Bateman, Leonid's tech guy, is super cool and can do some really neat stuff, it just makes it too easy for McGill to get the info or access he needs. Maybe I just feel that Mosley relies a little too heavily on taking the easy way out.

Another minor detail that is starting to irk me is McGill's call
Jan 20, 2015 Betty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
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.

Mar 01, 2013 Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, detective
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
Dec 22, 2010 Colleen Toporek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Jun 04, 2016 Karin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a classic whodunit mystery following a private detective uncovering a case. I enjoyed this one more than the first book in the series. There were a few loose ends but I'm thinking the author continues with those story threads in later books. Fun reading for a summer weekend on the porch! I'll check out books 3 and 4 (I think that's all there are at this point) and I'd really like to read some of Mosely's non-detective books.
Oct 01, 2015 Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the narration and the dialog, Leonid is an interesting main character and the setting is compelling with interesting secondary characters. With that said, the case at the heart of this second book didn't grab me like the introductory case in the first book. I will read another in the series if there are more.
Apr 17, 2011 Keke rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Jul 13, 2010 Mariana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun read. Alas, no more books by Walter Mosley at BPL.
Feb 01, 2017 Mae rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have-read
I wasn't able to follow the plot that well, and appreciated the denouement. I like following Leonid McGill through his Manhattan jaunts, with all his loves, assessment of folks he meets, and his cast of characters. Very entertaining. Some of the fight and capture scenes turn my stomach but...I managed. Really like this author's sensibilities and writing style.
Mar 31, 2011 HBalikov rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 22, 2017 Madlyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was okay
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
Jan 04, 2012 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 30, 2012 Katherine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
"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
Nov 11, 2011 Don rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 26, 2012 Owen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 05, 2010 D.K. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
More about Walter Mosley...

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

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