Friday’s Forgotten Books: Fearless Jones by Walter Mosley

Friday’s Forgotten Books: Fearless Jones by Walter Mosley

Back in the 1990’s I lived in London. My then girlfriend was working in the kitchens at The Jazz Café in Camden. On night she phoned me to say that there was bloke on stage reading crime stories to a hip jazz accompaniment. She later told me he was called Walter Mosley. He was promoting a book called Devil In A Blue Dress.

So, I bought Devil In A Blue Dress. And, as they appeared, the next few Easy Rawlins books. Every one a gem.

A bit later, I read ‘Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned,’ which I liked even more than the Rawlins books.

Then nothing. For over ten years.

Until I picked up a copy of Fearless Jones last summer.

The hero of this book is a bloke called Paris Minton. He owns a book shop which he built through hard graft. Fearless Jones is his best friend.

The story takes place in 1950’s California and starts with Minton, a black man, being hassled by racist and corrupt cops. And then an archetypal film noir femme fatale’ walks in and Minton is caught up in a twisty-turny tale of murder, double- crossing, triple crossing and more and only Fearless Jones, who is in prison, can help him.

Fearless is a cracking creation and telling the story from Minton’s POV gives it a very human angle. Fearless is cool, and tough and damned good looking. Minton is not. He’s us.

This could have been a fairly okay story in someone else’s hands but that Mosley bloke can write more than somewhat and this is a smashing, punchy book.

There are more Forgotten Books at MYSTERIES IN PARADISE