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The Long Fall (Leonid McGill #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  2,962 Ratings  ·  402 Reviews
Bestselling mystery writer Walter Mosley's electric new novel introduces a brand new investigator - Leonid McGill - and a gripping new set of challenges. We follow former rule-breaker Leonid McGill as he's buffeted between the overlords of New York's underbelly, desperate to turn straight, but unable to say no to a nicely paid job. When we're introduced, he's calling in ol ...more
Kindle Edition, 332 pages
Published (first published 2009)
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JP Himes... As in Cotton Comes to Harlem, and my personal favorite Run, Man, Run
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Jason Koivu
Aug 13, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Jul 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
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
Oct 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jim Leffert
May 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 23, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mahoghani 23
LT McGill is a man of the streets. He reminds me so much of another character of Walter Mosley; Easy Rawlins. LT has the intellect of a man that can decipher the BS from what's real. In this story, he's seeking 4 young men for a man named Ambrose Thurman. Unfortunately for Ambrose, LT is trying to change his evil ways and do things on the straight and narrow no matter what.

Where this story will lead will you through so many tricks and turns. Every direction LT turns, he's attacked. From Ambrose
Mar 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
David Anderson
Jun 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Walter Mosley is the master of mysteries. No one crafts a tight-knit a plot better than he does. No one creates unforgettable characters better than he does. The first in the Leonid McGill series is no exception; this series promises to be every bit as good as the Easy Rawlings series. Can you think of another hard-boiled detective who is practically a red-diaper baby, loves fine art and even owns a Paul Klee? LMAO! Highly recommended and a must-read, just like every thing else Mosley writes.
Mar 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Debbi Mack
Jul 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-reads
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'
Carl R.
May 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

Nov 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
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
Jan 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readharder2015
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
Matt Braymiller
This is a promising start to the Leonid McGill series. I like that the main character is not a young man, and coming to grips with the changes that age brings to men. I like the pacing of the story. I also really liked that L.T. is not a super sleuth. He is trying to turn over a new leaf in his life. His past has some pretty dark bits, and some of them color this story.
The whole dysfunctional family arc was a bit heavy handed, but it worked. The book resolved well, without being hokey. I have th
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.
Got this audiobook on sale at It is the first book I've read by Mosley but won't be the last. This was the first in a new series for Mosley. Leonides McGill is a private investigator who has a history of working for bad guys. But after a woman died in his arms while cursing him for one of his dirty jobs, he's reformed. It is hard to move out of the business but McGill is trying. He takes a job that requires him to find out the real names and locations of 4 men having only their chil ...more
I had mixed feelings while reading this...half the time I was kind of bored and the other half I was totally engaged. I was bored because this was not written in a way that allows the reader to try solving the mystery. I'm not very big into the genre but if I pick a mystery up its because I want to try piecing it together on my own- knowing full well that if it's worth it's salt I'll be totally wrong anyways. There were not enough clues for me to do that here and as a result I was bored by the p ...more
Apr 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mosley gives us an interesting character in a rather typical story. The book itself is a homage to classic detective novels of the 30s and 40s heavily referencing both The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep, which makes the book seem all too familiar. I'm not sure I understand why since Mosley has long since established himself as a master of the genre. Maybe he was just having fun. The main character is original, but I wish that Mosley had gone a little deeper into his own story and left the trib ...more
Robert Hellenga
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very strong. Even better than the Easy Rawlins series. Leonid McGill sees things as they really are.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mo-walter
The truth is always the best way to lie
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was immediately curious to read this mystery novel about a New York African-American red-diaper baby who is now a P.I., and when a photo of the author stared at me alongside my Facebook feed for a week, I finally broke down and went to the library and got the book. I just finished it, and it was so good I had to write this immediately. If you like detective stories, good writing, and are able to stomach descriptions of harrowing violence, I highly recommend this book.

Personally, I prefer cozi
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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)
  • 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

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