'Fear Itself: A Fearless Jones Novel'
By: Walter Mosley
(Hardcover / 320 Pages / Little Brown & Company; 1st edition / ISBN: 0316591122 / $24.95)
Description: Paris Minton is a man who would just as soon walk away from trouble as stand up to it. But in 1950s Los Angeles, sometimes trouble just comes and gets you. Fearless Jones shows up at Paris Minton's door one night with a simple request: an attractive woman has asked him to help her find her husband, a man Fearless worked for briefly, and Fearless wants Paris to take the case with him.
Verdict:Author Walter Mosley provides a telling look into the racism and fear that constituted Los Angeles in the 1950s and that still prevades much of society. Paris, the narrator, makes a convincing character. He is fearful, small, and greedy. Fearless, in contrast, is, uh, fearless. Paris likes to think of himself as much smarter than Fearless, but his smarts lands him in trouble while Fearless's inate honesty keeps him (mostly) safe. Of course it doesn't hurt either of them that Fearless is fast with his hands and can't remember losing a fight. 'Fear Itself' has something of a film-noire quality. There are enough characters and suspects that it's easy to get confused but the strong narrative and stronger characters kept me entranced. 'Fear Itself' is a sequel to 'Fearless Jones' but stands completely separate and can be read independently. This is a highly professional and enjoyable work. Mosley's writing is compelling and smooth. His historical setting is fascinating, and his characters are complex.
Reviewed by Lance Acord