by Walter Mosley
This is book two in Mosley's Leonid McGill series. You can read a review of book one here. Or if you don't care to read an entire other review there are some very basic points which you should understand before reading this book. Mosley thoughtfully weaves them in and out of the story although he doesn't do anything as obvious as an information dump. Leonid McGill is a middle aged New York private eye who's trying to turn over a new leaf morally speaking. He's spent a great deal of his life running in some very dangerous circles and doing business with or favors for evil and dangerous men in both the NYC underworld and upperworld. A few years back McGill underwent a moral epiphany. He decided to only do legitimate private eye work. No more setting up innocent people in insurance scams. No more tracking down witnesses for the Mob. No more fixing juries or paying people to perjure themselves in court. And McGill promised himself to try really hard not to kill anyone if he could avoid it. McGill decided to try to make amends where possible to some of the people he hurt. He also chose, as penance for his misdeeds, to stay with his beautiful wife Katrina, who has given him three children, only one of which is his. Katrina is as faithless as she is striking. She's always searching for something bigger and better. The only reason Katrina may be staying with Leonid is that the years are starting to catch up with her, though she remains stunning for her age. Most of the more successful men Katrina might prefer want younger women. That's what Leonid thinks anyway when he imagines Katrina's motivations, which isn't often. He may still be married to her but it's a loveless marriage as far as Leonid is concerned. Leonid's mind is often elsewhere. It's not as if he were 100% true either. In this book Leonid continues to attempt to make amends but learns that you can't just wash your hands once they've been dirty. He's hired by arguably the most powerful man in New York City, the political fixer Alphonse Rinaldo, to find a young woman named Tara. It's supposedly an easy job with no nasty work required. And even a man as stubborn and as independent as Leonid doesn't like to say no to a man like Alphonse Rinaldo. Even more so than Leonid, Alphonse literally knows where all the bodies are buried. Alphonse has access to power which could greatly help or harm Leonid.