Down the River Unto the Sea

Down the River Unto the Sea

Book - 2018
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7
Ten years after serving time at Rikers Island for assault, Joe King Oliver, an ex-NYPD investigator working as a private detective, receives a note from a woman who admits she was paid to frame him, compelling him to find out who on the police force wanted him out. He also agrees to help a radical black journalist accused of killing two on-duty police officers who had been abusing their badges to traffic in drugs and prostitutes in the city's poorest neighborhoods. The two cases intertwine, exposing a pattern of corruption and brutality wielded against black men, women, and children whose lives the law detroyed.
Publisher: New York : Mulholland Books/Little, Brown and Company, 2018.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780316509640
0316509647
Branch Call Number: MF MOSLEY, WALTER
Characteristics: 322 pages ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Down the river to the sea

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g
Grandma007
Jul 13, 2020

Tongue in cheek Mosely. Even alludes to an Easy Rawlins novel (Devil in a Blue Dress) towards end of story. Joe, an ex-cop now a PI, uses his contacts to save a man from execution for mirdering two bad cops. Joe and most characters use language suitable to Oxford dons. A quick and enjoyable read.

p
PolyWogg
Jan 27, 2020

BOTTOM-LINE:
Great character, great story, a few weak spots
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PLOT OR PREMISE:
A detective was framed for rape, temporarily jailed, kicked off the police force and is working as a private investigator looking at a potential case of corrupt cops who tried to commit murder.
.
WHAT I LIKED:
Mosley always creates compelling characters (like Easy Rawlins) and Joe King Oliver is no exception. Much of what you see is part of a long history … the story could have been told as a Western, or as pulp noir with Sam Spade, or as Spenser for Hire (or any of Robert B. Parker's characters really). It is a "man's story" taking care of "his business", in a dark world that is full of violence which he would prefer to avoid but willing to endure when necessary. The main case (Oliver's own) is compelling, but a little light in places. Where it falters, the case of his client steps in to keep the story moving. It was an Edgar Award nominee, and it was well-deserved.
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WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
His family (daughter and ex-wife) are a bit too much in the background (i.e., Oliver keeps the women-folk safe, so to speak), his relationship with an ex-prostitute beyond confused, and the relationship with his mentor obvious long before a revelation.
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DISCLOSURE:
I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with the author, nor do I follow him on social media.

IndyPL_KimE Mar 27, 2019

Joe King Oliver is an ex- cop trying to solve the mystery of who framed him. On his journey to clear his name, he struggles with good vs. evil and trust. Mosley doesn't disappoint with vibrant descriptors like that this one where he describes Gladstone Palmer, fellow police colleague and friend to Oliver:

"The door opened and the tall, athletic, eternal sergeant walked in. He was wearing a straw-colored sports jacket and trousers so dark green that they might have passed for black. The white shirt and blue tie were his mainstay, and that smile lived equally in his eyes and on his lips."

Oliver's run-ins with a seductive sociopath, militant journalists, politicians and more makes it hard to put this book down.

b
brangwinn
Aug 05, 2018

Walter Mosley, as usual provides a tightly knit story of suspense and murder. I struggled keeping all the characters straight in this book, but kept at it because he always has interesting characters.

c
Courier2003
Jun 20, 2018

Poorly written, too much detail. Did not finish.

p
pterry25
Mar 03, 2018

if you are a Walter Mosley fan - no problem. Mosley introduces a new character - but you see glimpses of other characters - Mouse especially.

I am still not sure why he was thrown in Rikers in the first place.

This is possibly Mosley's way to leave Easy Rawlins behind and move into the 21st century.

j
jenniferrabbit
Feb 28, 2018

Excellent. Joe King Oliver is a private detective, an ex-cop who had been framed, fired and sent to prison for sexual assault. Although freed when charges were dropped he had been brutalized in prison and his spirit broken. Years later he received an apology from the woman who filed the false accusation, and now is investigating the police corruption that lead to his arrest. Great writing, compelling characters, believable (as thrillers go) plot.

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