Every Man a King

Mulholland. (King Oliver). Feb. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780316460217. $28. M
Mosley’s second “King Oliver” title (after 2018’s Down the River unto the Sea) has its former-cop-turned-PI protagonist, Joe King Oliver, swimming in shark-infested waters. He is hired by Roger Ferris during a legal battle with his children over control of their multibillion-dollar company. Complicating matters is Brenda, Joe’s grandmother, who happens to be Roger’s girlfriend. Summoned to Ferris’s mansion, Joe assumes the topic of discussion will be the takeover. Instead, Ferris tells Joe about a man who has been “detained” by the government—a man whom he owes a debt. Then Joe’s ex-wife Monica calls, begging him to help her new husband—the man who convinced her to let Joe sit and rot in jail instead of paying bail. But Joe loves their daughter, so he dives into this case. Soon, Joe’s neck-deep in white supremacists, Russian mobsters, and shadow organizations, all looking to put him in a body bag.
VERDICT Mosley demonstrates once again why he is a master of the craft, weaving a searing look at the concepts of race and social justice into a page-turning crime novel. A complex, compelling protagonist and eclectic supporting cast deepen the pleasure of the read.
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