The Sunday Salon: Getting Noir with Walter Mosley


Last year, when I read Walter Mosley’s The Wave, I was disappointed. It came off as a weird, cliched X-Files episode. Science fiction doesn’t seem to be Mosley’s genre.

But this week I finished his noir novel Fearless Jones. Noir pulp fiction is Mosley’s genre. Reading the novel reminded me of Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction

Like that film, the characters in Fearless Jones aren’t necessarily savory, and because they are civilians, don’t have to operate on the right side of the law.

Set in 1950s L.A., the protagonists, used bookstore owner Paris Minton and his war hero friend Fearless Jones, get involved with thugs and killers, bad cops and mysterious women, and criminal clergy and Israeli special agents.

Minton gets involved in this mystery when the beautiful Elana Love comes into his store pursued by thug Leon Douglas. Love hides out while Douglas works over Minton, leaving only when neighborhood kids get nosey. Love and Douglas, and other nefarious forces, are seeking a valuable bond that is worth either thousands or millions, depending upon who they talk to. Minton enlists Jones to help him when Love takes off, and someone burns down his store. The two get caught up a in world of sex, murder, and stolen money.

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