We gave it an A-
It’s hard not to draw parallels between Kris Nelscott’s PI Smokey Dalton and Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins, another secretive, canny black man trying to solve mysteries while circumspectly navigating the white world. But Dalton’s no knockoff. (Would you label the hundreds of hard-boiled detectives who’ve appeared in Raymond Chandler’s wake mere Marlowe Xeroxes because they’re white?) And War, which deals with the disappearance of a militant black Yale student during the long, hot summer of 1969, is a gripping read that drags us deeper into Dalton’s uneasy world. As with the best of Mosley and Chandler, Dalton’s fifth outing leaves us eagerly anticipating the next one.