Down the River unto the Sea
Walter Mosley (born 1952) is a renowned black author of detective stories. This seems to be his latest, featuring black ex-detective now P.I. Joe King Oliver. Ten years ago he had been framed by colleagues, spent some weeks in Riker´s prison and lost his shield in the NYPD.
He still suffers from this outrageous injustice and starts investigating his own case, when the woman who had accused him of raping her writes a letter saying she had been forced to lie and is terribly sorry.
At the same time he investigates the murder of two policemen, the culprit, another black man, waiting in prison for his verdict.
“King” is drawn deeper and deeper into a web of corruption and vice in the police force. He engages the help of a gangster, who does the dirty work for him, like torturing or killing unwilling witnesses or suspects. So the hero is more than a deep shades of grey, his ethics questionable.
The reader gets more and more uneasy and puts the book aside rather disappointed in the end.
Mosley writes in a rather old-fashioned, likeable way. But when King asks for a typewriter to put down some notes, the whole story seems to fall out of time.