Englischsprachige Literatur

Mosley Walter

Down the river unto the sea

Weidenfels&Nicholson, London 2019


Walter Mosley, a black American, has written a number of successful mystery series and this seems to be his latest, starring former NYPD police officer Joe King Oliver, who now works as private investigator, because he was framed by colleagues, spent 5 years in Rikers Island prison and wants to find some answers after all those years.

Of course, Joe is black like his creator, but his best and only friend from his police days is the white police officer Davenport. He helped him to get out of prison and helps him now to find out, who was behind Joe´s downfall. But Joe also has to investigate, if the black journalist Compton, called A Free Man, is guilty of killing two police officers, exactly the same who had been involved in framing Joe.

The story becomes shadier and shadier, and Joe engages Mel, a famous criminal and murderer, to protect Joe against his enemies, who try to have him killed. Of course, Joe is the good guy and only tortures and kills people, if he really has to. In the end, friends become enemies and enemies are prepared to pay Joe a gigantic sum as hush money, which he readily accepts because it will help his daughter through college and help Compton, who is rescued from prison by Joe and his murderer friend.

All this is for Joe “ felt like the hand of some momentary apparition of God.” (p. 322) Well, no surprise here, Joe reads Hesse in his leisure moments.

And, by the way, every person that enters the stage is defined by his skin colour.