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Known to Evil (Leonid McGill, #2)
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Known to Evil (Leonid McGill #2)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,805 Ratings  ·  204 Reviews
The Walter Mosley and his new hero, Leonid McGill, are back in the new New York Times-bestselling mystery series that's already being hailed as a classic of contemporary noir.

Leonid McGill-the protagonist introduced in The Long Fall, the book that returned Walter Mosley to bestseller lists nationwide -is still fighting to stick to his reformed ways while the world arou
Hardcover, 326 pages
Published March 23rd 2010 by Riverhead Hardcover (first published 2010)
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James Thane
Jul 31, 2013 rated it liked it
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 rated it it was ok
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
Jennifer (aka EM)
I had pretty much no idea who was who, what was going on, or why any of it mattered at any point during this audio book, but I did appreciate the hard-boiled noir aspects. :-D

P.S. my favourite part was when the reader - whose Norwegian accent sounded Bahamian, and whose Russian accent sounded like a toddler with a mouth full of marbles - read a line uttered by the main character (who himself had just perpetrated a bad accent during a sneaky phone call) that "accents were hard." bwahahahaha
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Any chance you get to risk your life for the Cause is as close to a blessing as a modern man can, my father's words had no political meaning for me but there truth out shown there intent.

Reading Mosley Mysteries will have you looking at news stories much differently, especially those concerning city, state, and/or government officials drama and scandals.....Or is it just all know that Art imitates Life.
Mar 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Nadia L. Hohn
Feb 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
I did not particularly enjoy this book. I know that Walter Mosley wrote a novel which was turned into a Spike Lee-directed movie called "Devil in a Blue Dress." I never saw this movie although it was a big hit and my older brother had. So when I saw this audiobook, I said, I should definitely read it. If Spike Lee made a movie from a Walter Mosley book, then he should be great. I was wrong. Well, maybe it was THIS book or perhaps it was because of the arrogant cockiness of the lead character McG ...more
Kirk Smith
May 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: top-noire
My man Mosley always writes a good plot. Now that I'm on about the 35th book of his I miss the simpler times when the protagonist didn't have to have a superty-duperty electronic gizmo all handy for every deadly situation. So much for being current.
Jim Leffert
May 16, 2010 rated it liked it
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 rated it liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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 rated it liked it
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 rated it liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: detective, fiction
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 15, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Nov 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it really liked it
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 rated it liked it
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 rated it it was ok
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 rated it really liked it
Fun read. Alas, no more books by Walter Mosley at BPL.
Denise Billings
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Walter Mosley's work is always satisfying.

For example he writes, ""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
Jul 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Liked the dialect and jive ass humor of this audio book, the fearless main character avoiding stereotypical hero status with humor and fumbles. The story lost me--I think it was about rescuing a beautiful girl from predators trying to kill her for some reason I never really figured out. Every good girl is gorgeous and every bad girl afflicted with signs of age. A guy viewpoint.
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love Mosley

Leonid is is very different from Easy, but both men are complex and Mosley does a great job developing their characters and the story lines with so much insight into Black culture in America over time.
Bryan R.
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dude just knows how to write. I have read more of his books in the last 5 years than any other author. It took me awhile to try his non-Easy Rawlins stuff. This Leonid McGill character is quite interesting. I will read more of his stories.
Vi Louise
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: aa-fiction, audio
I like Leonid McGill and the reader is awesome.
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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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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)
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“I'm just a survivor from the train wreck of the modern world.” 9 likes
“It was mid-November 2008. There were pirates taking ships with impunity in African waters, terrorists punching holes in Indian security, China sinking towards depression because Americans were afraid to buy cheap goods for Christmas, and the richest nation in the history of the world was talking about how to keep a budget.” 2 likes
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