- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 8, 2011

“When the Thrill Is Gone” (Riverhead Books), by Walter Mosley: Leonid McGill’s best friend is dying of cancer. His wife is having an affair with a man half her age, and his mistress is getting tired of him. His favorite son is mixed up in an Internet scam, and his other son is in love with a Russian arms dealer’s girlfriend. And McGill’s arch-enemy, a police detective who’s been trying to put him away for years, is still hot on his trail.

Those are just the subplots in “When the Thrill Is Gone,” the third novel in Walter Mosley’s suspenseful series about McGill, a former boxer and street thug who has become one of New York City’s most resourceful private detectives.

McGill’s bigger problems involve trying to save the life of a beautiful client who says her rich husband wants to kill her, and trying to locate a long-missing man for a mob kingpin the private detective doesn’t want to work for but doesn’t dare to refuse.

To make matters worse, McGill soon finds out that both of his new clients are lying to him. McGill knows right off that there’s something fishy about his female client.

“I should have sent the young woman away,” he says, “but I was distracted by the mystery of time. Many and most moments go by with us hardly aware of their passage. But love and hate and fear cause time to snag you, to drag you down like a spider’s web holding fast to a doomed fly’s wings. And when you’re caught like that you’re aware of every moment and movement and nuance.”

As in “The Long Fall” (2009) and “Known to Evil” (2010), the first two books in the series, McGill tries to stay within the law; but for a man with his history _ and violent temper _ it’s not easy.

Mosley is best known for his novels featuring a black Los Angeles private detective named Easy Rawlins. Together, those books added up to an elegant history of race relations in America from the 1940s through the 1970s.

The McGill series, set in President Barack Obama’s America, is proving to be a worthy successor, each book suspenseful, insightful and superbly written in Mosley’s unique style.

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Bruce DeSilva is the author of the crime novel “Rogue Island,” which has been nominated for the Edgar and Barry Awards.

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Online:

http://www.waltermosley.com