Fearless Jones Hardcover – Jun 5 2001
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Penzler Pick, June 2001: Those of us who have been waiting for Walter Mosley to return to mystery writing--and there are many of us--have cause to rejoice. Not only has Mosley written a mystery, he is introducing a new character who could turn out to be as popular as Easy Rawlins.
Fearless Jones has a lot in common with Easy, but he also has some characteristics reminiscent of Socrates Fortlow, the "hero" of Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned. When the story begins, the reader is transported to the Los Angeles of the 1950s, a dangerous place and time for a black man. But Paris Minton seems to have beaten the odds. He owns a moderately successful and very satisfying business--a used book store. He spends the time he's not in the store scouring libraries for discarded books and selling them in just enough quantity to be independent and happy. Yes, he is visited on a regular basis by members of the LAPD who want him to prove to them that he did not steal the books, but that is a small price to pay for independence.
Minton's peaceful life is interrupted one day when a beautiful woman walks into his store and asks for the Reverend William Grove. In no time flat, Paris has been beaten into unconsciousness by a man following her and has been rewarded by the woman with sex. The lovely Elana Love is obviously trouble, but Paris jumps in feet first and, as a consequence, his store is burned to the ground. It is obviously time to call in Fearless Jones, a man well named. Jones is afraid of nothing, but there is a little matter to be taken care of before he can help. He's in jail and Paris must raise bail to get him out. Once he does that, the pair embark on a wild ride through Los Angeles on behalf of Elana Love. As always, Mosley depicts the hard-boiled L.A. in a powerful and distinctive way, and we can only hope that this is the first of a series. --Otto Penzler
From Publishers Weekly
HAbandoning the voice of his premier creation, Easy Rawlins, Mosley mines a new shaft of 1950s Los Angeles with a hero who combines the principles of Easy with the deadliness of Ray "Mouse" Alexander. The result is a violent, heroic and classic piece of noir fiction. Narrator Paris Minton is an appealing figure an easygoing black man for whom the written word is salvation and whose nameless used bookstore in Watts is paradise. Then the beautiful Elana Love enters his store and brings with her more trouble than Paris has ever seen enough trouble that Paris knows his only hope is his friend Fearless Jones. A former soldier, Jones is a riveting new creation. He's a man of both principle and action with an innate sense of justice and as his name makes clear, he's afraid of nothing. The novel rips along with a hunt for the girl and a race among competing factions to find a missing bond that's the key to a fortune. For the black characters it's a desperate struggle to stay alive in a white world where the deck is stacked. One sly reference tells the reader we're still in the same world and time inhabited by Easy Rawlins, and that Fearless and Mouse are equally "bad." But Fearless is also a knight-errant and hopefully destined for further adventures as fine as this one. (June 5)Forecast: With a 20-city author tour and major advertising, Mosley's first thriller since 1996's A Little Yellow Dog is sure to generate lots of interest and sales.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
this is no ordinary day in a black man's life, but it is written as such. the layman reading this piece might even feel like black men had to deal with garbage like this every day. though that was not the case, it wasn't far from it let me tell you. reading this gives a lot of insight to those not in the know and moseley is one of those rare writers who chooses to educate us while entertaining us. the lingo is indicative of the era and the characters are nicely fleshed out. ironically enough, fearless jones was my least favorite, probably because it wasn't really about him to begin with. he plays out like this hardcase with a heart of gold, brandishing his own private view of right and wrong.
paris is the real deal here. a mealy-mouthed sort with no real manly confidence, but he's not about to take his new misgiving lying down. he's no tough guy so he gets his tough guy friend to help. but by the end of the story, he changes nicely for the better and it was nice to see the little guy get some guts.Read more ›
So he has to go bail his so called friend out of jail so that he can fight his battles.I must say Paris did end up having some smarts about hisself after all. Frearless, I liked Fearless but he was a little to wierd sometimes,taliking to dead white men and carrying on.
The most important part of the book...well the part that was important to me was Paris telling his story about how he came to be in LA.
This white librarian from his home town, told him point blank you can look, but you will never be able to touch, cause these books are for white children and he would never be able to use that library as long as he was black she didn't care how good he could read. So he left small, town USA and moved to LA where he said he could read all the books he wanted regardless of his skin color.
The novel is set in LA in the 50's. Paris Minton has found a business niche for himself, selling public libarary castoff books and comic books from a storefront that also serves as his home in West LA. One day he is engaged in his favorite passtime -- reading -- when into the store strides Love. Elana Love to be exact -- a breathtaking beauty looking for something that is missing. Before Paris can do a thing, he finds himself beaten, shot at, robbed by Elana herself, and homeless, as someone has burned down his store and home.
Paris pays a fine to get his friend Fearless Jones out of the pokey to assist him on a mission of investigation and revenge -- what has happened to the foreign bearer bond that Elana was looking for? Who burned Paris's store? Why are the Tannenbaum's murdered?
The plot does get a bit convoluted, but it keeps the reader involved and interested. Fearless and Paris happen to be African-American, and the there are many intriguing comments on what it was like to be black in 1950's LA. It's not exactly social commentary, but it sets this book apart from manyother noir novels.
I enjoyed Fearless Jones and its bigger-than-life characters. Mosley writes very well, especially the dialogue. I will search out other Mosley novels for my enjoyment.
Most recent customer reviews
I'm reviewing the price not the book!
I have not read this book but it looks very good. I was hoping to get it on CD for those long drives to work but Whoa! Read more
Mosley proves after his short hiatus from mystery writing, that he still has it. Paris Minton and Fearless Jones, the unlikely mystery-solving duo captivate the reader like Easy... Read morePublished on March 21 2003
This is the first time I read anything by Walter Mosely and I was very impressed. Fearless Jones ran like one of the those early black exploitation films like Coffy or Shaft, as... Read morePublished on Jan. 17 2003 by Sal Paradise
I love Mosley. I read everything the man has written. Sorry, I was disappointed. I should have reread one of Easy's stories. Read morePublished on Dec 23 2002 by BigScaryCat11
I enjoyed Fearless Jones. However, i searched the chapters for the connection i have found with Ezekiel, Mouse and others of the Easy Rawlin's series. Read morePublished on Dec 16 2002
Once again, Walter Mosley makes me fall in love with an African American everyman, Fearless Jones. Walter Mosley's work is so gripping, and never ceases to please. Read morePublished on Dec 10 2002 by Desiderata
I had the good fortune of borrowing the audio CD version of "Fearless Jones" from my local library. Mosley's story is excellent and captivating. Read morePublished on Aug. 22 2002 by A. Clayton
Good characters, great dialogue, absolutely forgettable story.Published on Aug. 17 2002 by Bobobirdiebuddy