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The Early Word: New Books for the Week of March 7, 2011

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Spring forward, Fall back: remember to change your clocks Saturday night, though you’ll be losing an hour of reading time…

When the Thrill Is Gone (Leonid McGill Series #3)
by Walter Mosley

Best-known for his 1940s- and ‘50s-set noir crime novels starring the cool and case-hardened black detective Easy Rawlins, Walter Mosley’s genre-bending talents have taken him from science-fiction to nonfiction, young adult to erotica. 2010’s Days of Ptolemy Grey was another ambitious departure, a provocative, deeply-felt, and often literary reflection on aging, family, loss, and love.

Veering back from standalone status and making another dent in his newer Leonid McGill detective series featuring New York private eye Leonid McGill, Mosley sets When the Thrill Is Gone in contemporary times, and steeps it in East coast urban environs. This time around McGill, an old school ex-boxer and family man with an affinity for Lucky Strikes and beer, finds himself in a classic hardboiled ensnarement when a beautiful woman, Chrystal Tyler, all femme fatale-like, arrives in McGill’s office claiming her billionaire husband may be planning to kill her. McGill senses a trap of some kind, but business is bad enough in these times of hardship, so he decides to take a chance and stay on his gumshoed toes.

Meanwhile McGill deals with his complex life: his stepson, Twill, drops out of school in favor of some new scam he’s working; and longtime friend Gordo Tallman is fighting cancer and living in his apartment; and — kicking off a domino effect of relationship woes — his wife takes a new lover, triggering anger and endangerment from the old one; while Leonid’s girlfriend Aura comes back, though not without some new ground rules, apparently, on some serious issues.

During this period of personal and professional preoccupation, what is a cash-strapped, emotionally sapped, hard working and proud man supposed to do when Harris Vartan, an organized crime figure, seeks a favor that prompts McGill to set out on a journey of self-awareness and insight? Or has the time come that the thrill is gone away for good?


The Bone Yard (Body Farm Series #6)
by Jefferson Bass

The Jungle (Oregon Files Series #8)
by Clive Cussler, Jack Du Brul

Silent Mercy (Alexandra Cooper Series #13)
by Linda Fairstein

Dark Prince: Author’s Cut Special Edition
by Christine Feehan

One of Our Thursdays Is Missing (Thursday Next Series #6)
by Jasper Fforde

Love You More (Detective D. D. Warren Series #5)
by Lisa Gardner

Afterlife (Evernight Series #4)
by Claudia Gray

The Tiger’s Wife
by Tea Obreht

The Informationist
by Taylor Stevens


The Company We Keep: A Husband-and-Wife True-Life Spy Story
by Robert Baer, Dayna Baer

The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement
by David Brooks

Made for You and Me: Going West, Going Broke, Finding Home
by Caitlin Shetterly

The Thank You Economy
by Gary Vaynerchuk

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About Gordon Hauptfleisch