cover image Down the River unto the Sea

Down the River unto the Sea

Walter Mosley. Mullholland, $27 (336p) ISBN 978-0-316-50964-0

Former NYPD detective Joe King Oliver, now the owner-operator of King Detective Service, investigates two cases of gross injustice in this excellent standalone from MWA Grand Master Mosley (Charcoal Joe and 13 other Easy Rawlins novels). Thirteen years earlier, Oliver was convicted on bogus assault charges, which ended his police career and his marriage. He spent nine months in jail before the charges were dropped and he was released without explanation. Oliver now learns that a crooked cop was behind the frame. Meanwhile, he is approached by Willa Portman, an intern for the lawyer representing Leonard Compton, a militant journalist who’s on death row for the murder of two policemen three years earlier. Portman says the killings were self-defense. Oliver, who faces a corrupt world with unflinching honesty and ruthlessness, enlists the aid of Melquarth Frost, a hardened career criminal, to even the odds in both cases. The novel’s dedication—to Malcolm, Medgar, and Martin—underlines the difference that one man can make in the fight for justice. Agent: Gloria Loomis, Watkins Loomis Agency. (Feb.)