After being asked to investigate the charges against a white nationalist accused of treason and murder, Joe King Oliver, with help from bodyguard and mercenary Oliya Ruez, embarks on a winding quest to expose the truth.
Provocative ... Skitters across the spectrum between orthodox and radical like a polygraph needle wired to a nervy accomplice ... Freedoms betrayed, classes divided, races at war — such heady themes lace the length of Mosley’s 46th novel. Fans of his Easy Rawlins and Leonid McGill series will not be disappointed, for we remain in the realm of deliciously gritty noir ... The byzantine plot, the suave private eye, all the uncanny similes; it’s a cocktail that skilled authors will serve as long as bartenders are still pouring Negronis ... As for Every Man a King, it’s a sterling example of a genre that it scarcely transcends.
Every Man a King reminds us why [Mosley] is a master of the genre ... The issues of inequity, race, poverty, wealth and class are all here in prose and plot, animated by everyman characters unbowed by convention, who leap off the page level-eyed and unrepentant ... There are layers of complexity. Actions don’t just have equal and opposite reactions, they slam back deadly, twofold ... Just when you think the story can’t get twistier, it does, but you don’t mind because Mosley’s writing is so rich, and his characters are not like anyone else’s, anywhere. It’s noir with a social conscience, noir with its thinking cap on.
The plot takes some overly byzantine turns, but Mosley again shows his talent for character building, not only in the many-sided Joe, as vulnerable as he is resilient, but also in a superb supporting cast, including Joe’s daughter, Aja, and mercenary Oliya, who could easily front her own series.