Fear Itself - Walter Mosley
THIS IS the US author's follow-up to his much acclaimed novel Fearless Jones.
From the first page you are sucked into an adventure that is always surprising.
The voice of Paris Minton, a small-time second-hand book man, pulls you into this story as he gets pulled in by his kindly but deadly best friend Fearless Jones, most recently a watermelon shifting man.
It's set in 1950s Los Angeles, a city divided by colour, but also by class where money can buy power for anyone.
Fear of the feckless racist police is always in the back of their minds as the pair snoop, fight and hide their way through a puzzle more complex then a New Labour pension entitlement form.
At first, the adventure seems driven just by lust for money and power, but as it unravels the yearning for heritage, identity and escape become visible as motivating forces.
A brilliant book that shows in the end comradeship can be the strongest force.
Fear Itself is available from Bookmarks, price £12. Phone 020 7637 1848.