Fear of the Dark by Walter Mosley Orion, HK$112 Walter Mosley made his name - and impressed Bill Clinton - with Ezekiel 'Easy' Rawlins, a black private eye who works in a vibrantly realised Los Angeles following the second world war. When he is not busy with the day job, Mosley moonlights as the creator of Fearless Jones. Although Fearless investigates in much the same world as Easy, he offers a lighter take on the subjects that enrage his more noirish colleague: racism, violence, riots and segregation in post-war America. Fear of the Dark is narrated by Fearless' very own Dr Watson: bookshop owner Paris Minton. Short on courage but long in the trouser (Paris is a ladies' man and no mistake), he is upset when his cousin, Ulysses 'Useless' Grant, comes to town. Said to be a descendant of president Grant, Ulysses cons, blackmails and extorts his way into constant trouble. Paris wants nothing to do with him until Ulysses' mother appears. In a plot twist almost worthy of P.G. Wodehouse, Paris' indomitable aunt charges him and Fearless with looking for her missing son. Mosley writes with life, wit and the lightest of touches about fear in the darkest of American times. This means that even when the plot loses its way, his characters charm their way into your affections.