“Down the River Unto the Sea” (Mulholland Books), by Walter Mosley
King is jolted when he receives a letter from the woman who accused him of assault, saying that crooked cops forced her to bring the charges. King wasn’t a popular detective, but doesn’t know what he did to incur such hatred. He’s barely begun to look into what happened to him when he is asked to look into the case of A Free Man, the name militant journalist Leonard Compton calls himself. Compton is on death row for shooting two police officers though he claimed it was self-defense.
King’s investigations take him on a journey to underground bars — the kind that need a password — after-hours nightclubs and remote diners. Along the way, he unleashes a maelstrom of violence. He’s helped by Melquarth Frost, a vicious career criminal who hasn’t forgotten that King once saved his life.
Examining how discrimination and prejudice affects African-Americans is right in Mosley’s wheelhouse. The author doesn’t miss a beat weaving this into the gritty plot of “Down the River Unto the Sea.”
While the plot soars, King doesn’t land as completely formed. Mosley’s Easy Rawlins ruled “Devil in a Blue Dress” from the first page; Leonid McGill, Fearless Jones and Socrates Fortlow were also memorable. King needs a bit more sculpting before he reaches the level of Mosley’s other characters.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.