Perdition U.S.A.
Ivan Monk, the sizzling fuse of a private detective created by Gary Phillips in Violent Spring and relit in this second book in the series, could well be the angry son of Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins. Where Easy was reluctantly drawn into racially inspired conflicts and killings in the 1940s through the 1960s, Ivan goes out of his way to take on cases that are politically dangerous in the modern world. Here, the seemingly unrelated murders of three young black men in a Southern California working-class city very much like Long Beach send Monk off on a journey to a blue-collar Oregon town where white supremacists are hatching poisonous plans. Phillips’s writing might not be as smooth or as graceful as Mosley’s, but his energy level and social conscience are every bit as impressive.

— review

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