And Sometimes I Wonder About You by Walter Mosley is the fifth novel in the Leonid McGill series and the character is compelling enough to make me want to go back and pick up the first four stories in this series. Moseley writes this novel with the easy groove of the music that McGill loves and the narrative by McGill brings you into his world with a unique and telling perspective.
In this fifth novel, the Private Detective finds himself in a precarious juggling act between the multiple cases he has going and a private life that seems to be at the best, uncontrollable. But McGill strolls through it all, though not in control, but seeming never completely out of control.
There is his depressed wife who is committed to an asylum, but not getting any better so that he wonders if it would be better if he brings her home. His on again and off again landlord lover who he is on a break from. Then there is the beautiful seductress who he meets and ends up in a torrid affair with. And then there is his son who following in his father’s footsteps as a detective finds himself involved with a criminal mastermind who uses children and lost young people to commit crimes. A mystery man who something of a modern day Dickens’ Fagan. There is the homeless man who tries to hire McGill to find his long lost relative and then ends up brutally murdered. The long lost relative who happens to hold onto a secret that the very rich will kill for. Then there is that seductress who seems to need protection when they are not in bed together. Add in McGill’s long lost socialist father who has been either freedom fighting or in prison somewhere in South America after abandoning McGill, showing up to mend the broken relationship. All this and McGill has the wedding of his best friend and mentor to attend.
As you can tell, there is a lot going on in this book and as wonderfully as it is told, there is the simple fact that there is just so much going on that gets muddled from time to time. A large plate of jambalaya, where all the flavors fuse so much that they lose something of their own profile.
Mosley wields his pen well. The narrative of McGill is compelling and rhythmic. A strong story told by a flawed but strong man who is never totaling sure of his own sense of right. But does the best he can for all even then. It is a good story. And the character of Leonid McGill is one I will definitely follow, it just isn’t good enough to rush out and pick up the next one right away.