cover image Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore

Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore

Walter Mosley. Doubleday, $25.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-385-52618-0

A pornographic actress, Debbie Dare, comes to terms with her past after her husband’s death, in Mosely’s shocking but ultimately flat 43rd book. Here, the author forgoes the well-plotted mystery genre he’s staked his name on; his latest novel finds its intrigue in the profession of its well-developed main character. Fully realized and sympathetic, Debbie is among Mosely’s best creations to date, due to a well-wrought first-person perspective and snap-tight dialogue. She navigates an L.A. landscape fleshed out with bizarre characters, from porn producers and a mafia hit man to the mother of her deceased husband, who help her distinguish her identity from her on-screen persona. While Debbie is an elemental creation in Mosely’s canon, a strong female character with an impeccable voice, the book itself is slow paced, with an unsatisfying climax. Perhaps in a sequel, the author will find the right book in which to place his new heroine. (May)