Summary and book reviews of Fear Itself by Walter Mosley

Fear Itself

by Walter Mosley

Fear Itself
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jul 2003, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2004, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

The nephew of the wealthiest woman in L.A. is missing and wanted for murder. Fearless Jones and Paris Minton are tricked into picking up the case and find themselves inside the world of the black bourgeoisie.



Paris Minton doesn't want any trouble, but in 1950s Los Angeles, sometimes trouble finds him, no matter how hard he tries to avoid it. When the nephew of the wealthiest woman in L.A. is missing and wanted for murder, she hires Jefferson T. Hill, a former sheriff of Dawson, Texas, to track him down and prove his innocence. When Hill goes missing too, she tricks his friend Fearless Jones and Paris Minton into picking up the case. Paris steps inside the world of the black bourgeoisie and it turns out to be filled with deceit and corruption. It takes everything he has just to stay alive through a case filled with twists and turns and dead ends like he never imagined.


Written with the voice and vision that have made Walter Mosley one of the most entertaining writers in America, Fear Itself marks the return of a master at the top of his form.

1

A SUDDEN BANGING ON THE FRONT DOOR sent a chill down my neck and into my chest. It was two thirty-nine in the morning. I was up and out of my bed immediately, though still more than half asleep.

I had to go to the bathroom but the knocking was insistent; seven quick raps, then a pause, and then seven more. It reminded me of something but I was too confused to remember what.

"All right," I called out.

I considered staying quiet until the unwanted visitor gave up and left. But what if it was a thief? Maybe he was knocking to see if there was anybody home. If I stayed quiet he might just break the two-dollar lock and come in on me. I’m a small man, so even if he was just your run-of-the-mill sneak thief he might have broken my neck before realizing that Paris Minton’s Florence Avenue Book Shop didn’t have any money in the cash box.

I slept in an illegal loft space above the bookstore. It was the only way my little business could stay in the ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Ebony

...a colorful crime noir story with vivid characters that keeps the reader guessing until the very end...

Washington Post

...the profound pleasures here are in his masterful evocation of a long gone Los Angeles...

San Francisco Chronicle

...vibrant, colorful language...Mosley can still dazzle with an unexpected turn of phrase...

The New York Times - Marilyn Stasio

It's a tossup which gives more pleasure in Mosley's vibrant views of neighborhood life, the high-stepping, free-talking characters who bob and weave their way through this convoluted plot, or the colorful local haunts like Henrietta's Gumbo House where they do their shuckin' and jivin'.

The Los Angeles Times - Thomas Curwen

We've seen pictures of black and white, even brown and white Los Angeles from the '40s and '50s, but seldom from the inside out. In Fear Itself, Mosley taps into this world and shows us a city where opportunity is less than it seems and violence a measure of frustration. The sad thing is it's a picture of a city not unlike Los Angeles today.

The Washington Post - Laura Lippman

Paris Minton is his third protagonist within the crime genre, and while Paris has some obvious parallels to Easy, he is very much his own man.

Entertainment Weekly

...visceral moments are so plentiful that the question of whodunit feels almost irrelevant...A-

Booklist - Keir Graff

After a slow beginning, the ending just misses being great when a last twist softens what would have been a perfect noir judgment on Paris. Not Mosley's best, but still plenty good.

Publishers Weekly

The author depicts 1950s Los Angeles with his usual unerring accuracy.

Library Journal

It is a rare thing for an author to release three books in a year's time and to have each outgun its predecessor....Fearless and Paris make a grand duo who can give Easy and Mouse a run for their money. You won't be able to turn the pages fast enough while hoping it never ends. Highly recommended.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Fear Itself, try these:

  • The Fifth Floor jacket

    The Fifth Floor

    by Michael Harvey

    Published 2009

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Michael Harvey’s sizzling follow-up to The Chicago Way opens with a murder in contemporary Chicago and winds its way back to Mrs. O’Leary’s cow and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

  • Christine Falls jacket

    Christine Falls

    by Benjamin Black

    Published 2008

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    In the debut crime novel from the Booker-winning author, a Dublin pathologist follows the corpse of a mysterious woman into the heart of a conspiracy among the city’s high Catholic society

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Romanovs
    The Romanovs
    by Simon Sebag Montefiore
    The Romanovs chronicles the reigns of the 20 individuals who were considered members of that dynasty...
  • Book Jacket: Barkskins
    Barkskins
    by Annie Proulx
    Barkskins, by Annie Proulx, is not a book to read quickly. After a month of slow reading, I ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Marriage of Opposites
    by Alice Hoffman
    Alice Hoffman's latest work, The Marriage of Opposites, is a historical fiction novel focusing on ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Imperial Wife
    by Irina Reyn

    A smart, engaging novel that parallels two fascinating worlds and two singular women.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Miss Jane
    by Brad Watson

    "Starred Review. Sensitive, beautifully precise prose. Highly recommended." - PW

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Girl Waits with Gun
by Amy Stewart

An enthralling novel based on the forgotten true adventures of one of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W M T N, W C F All

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

BookBrowse Summer Giveaway

We're giving away
5 books every
week in July!