Summary and book reviews of Fearless Jones by Walter Mosley

Fearless Jones

by Walter Mosley

Fearless Jones
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2001, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2002, 400 pages

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Book Summary

Walter Mosley, "one of crime fiction's brightest stars," returns to mysteries at last! Fearless Jones is a dazzling new thriller, set in 1950s L.A. and featuring the most engaging hero since Easy Rawlins.

Paris Minton is minding his own business -- a small used bookstore of which he is the proud proprietor -- when a beautiful woman named Elana Love walks in and asks a few questions. Within the next twenty-four hours, Paris has been beaten up, made love to, shot at, and robbed, and his bookstore has been burned to the ground. He's in so much trouble he has no choice but to get his friend Fearless Jones out of jail to help.

Fearless Jones is an army veteran, a man who is proud of his accomplishments during World War II and refuses to step into the background now that the war is over. Violence dogs Fearless's every step, and Paris has tried to keep his distance. But there's no friend like the one you need.

The two set out to find the elusive Elana Love, and every step leads them deeper into a bewildering vortex of money and betrayal. Their questions bring out a ruthless and racist cop, a gang of vicious ex-cons, and an elderly Jewish woman who is as determined to help the two friends as others are to harm them. These two black men in 1950s Los Angeles have few rights, little money, and no recourse under attack. But they have their friends, their wits, and their knowledge of the way the world really works to help them prevail.

Written with the blazing pace of noir classics like The Maltese Falcon, Fearless Jones also possesses the humor and original insights into American places and characters that have made Walter Mosley one of the most admired writers of our time.

Chapter One

MY USED-BOOK STORE had been open for just about a month when the police showed up. I hadn't called them, of course; a black man has to think twice before calling the cops in Watts. They came to see me late that afternoon. Two well-built young men. One had dark hair and the other sported freckles.

The dark one wandered around the room, flipping through random books, looking, it seemed, for some kind of contraband. "Where'd you get all these books, son?" the other cop asked, looking down on me.

I was sitting in my favorite swivel chair behind the makeshift table-desk that I used for book sales and purchases.

"Libraries," I replied.

"Stole 'em?" the dark-haired cop asked from across the room. There was an eager grin on his face.

"Front'a each page marked discarded," I said, editing out all unnecessary words as I spoke. "Library throws away thousands of books every year."

I reached for a paper folder at the far end of the table, ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Time Out New York

Fearless Jones, takes readers on a rollicking ride that is equal parts thriller and social commentary...With Fearless Jones, longtime Mosley fans and newcomers alike are in for a treat an action-filled, all-American novel that entertains while providing subtle insight into this ever-hotter melting-pot culture.

People Magazine

Walter Mosley, one of crime fiction's brightest stars, returns to mysteries at last! Fearless Jones is a dazzling new thriller, set in 1950s L.A. and featuring the most engaging hero since Easy Rawlins.

Kirkus Reviews

[F]ans starved for the mean streets of Watts during Mosley's sabbatical from mystery writing will rejoice in a prose style richer and more artfully stripped down than ever in the genre's first must-read of the year.

Author Blurb Jeffery Deaver, author of The Blue Nowhere and The Bone Collector
For those of us who've been dying for a new Walter Mosley mystery, we can finally relax. And, believe, me, Fearless Jones was worth the wait! In his lean, droll style, Author Mosley offers up his razor-sharp observations of street life in the Los Angeles of the '50s, a rock-'em, sock-'em plot and--it goes without saying--a cast of characters that we feel we've known all our lives.

Reader Reviews

Rianna

At first I was skeptical about picking up the book but once I had it in my hands it was hard to put down. I loved the book Fearless Jones. The characters and the way that life was depicted was in the novel was so real. Everything that was set in a ...   Read More

N H

It was an engaging, intresting novel which was able to hold on to my intrest throughout the entire work and I liked the use of realisim of the novel and its believable plot of following the money. Finally I think it was a really good book on ...   Read More

Cynthia

There's no word that can describe this book, it's a must read. The characters are real. Its like a movie that you don't want to end.

ElJon

I read this book and had to force myself to read what I did. I finally gave up after having read 1/2 of it, read the last few pages and took it back to the library, (glad I hadn't bought it). It moved to slow and did not hold my interest. It ...   Read More

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