"Master of craft and narrative" Walter Mosley returns with this crowning achievement in the Easy Rawlins saga, in which the iconic detective's loyalties are tested on the sun-soaked streets of Southern California (National Book Foundation)
It is 1969, and flames can be seen on the horizon, protest wafts like smoke though the thick air, and Easy Rawlins, the Black private detective whose small agency finally has its own office, gets a visit from a white Vietnam veteran. The young man comes to Easy with a story that makes little sense. He and his lover, a beautiful young woman, were attacked in a citrus grove at the city’s outskirts. He may have killed a man, and the woman and his dog are now missing. Inclined to turn down what sounds like nothing but trouble, Easy takes the case when he realizes how damaged the young vet is from his war experiences—the bond between veterans superseding all other considerations.
The veteran is not Easy’s only unlooked-for trouble. Easy’s adopted daughter Feather’s white uncle shows up uninvited, raising questions and unsettling the life Easy has long forged for the now young woman. Where Feather sees a family reunion, Easy suspects something else, something that will break his heart.
Blood Grove is a crackling, moody, and thrilling race through a California of hippies and tycoons, radicals and sociopaths, cops and grifters, both men and women. Easy will need the help of his friends—from the genius Jackson Blue to the dangerous Mouse Alexander, Fearless Jones, and Christmas Black—to make sense of a case that reveals the darkest impulses humans harbor.
Blood Grove is a novel of vast scope and intimate insight, and a soulful call for justice by any means necessary.
Early in MWA Grand Master Mosley's strong 15th Easy Rawlins mystery (after 2016's Charcoal Joe), Craig Kilian, a vet traumatized by combat experiences in Vietnam, arrives unannounced one day in 1969 at the L.A. detective agency that employs Easy. Craig, a white man, tells Easy he got into a fight with a knife-wielding Black man who was about to attack a white woman tied to a tree at a remote campsite. After fatally stabbing the Black man, Craig was hit in the head and lost consciousness. When he woke up, the body and the woman were gone. WWII vet Easy feels sympathy for Craig, and agrees to help find out what happened at the campsite. The upright detective soon becomes caught in a web of trouble involving stolen money, grisly murders, and weird sex clubs. Amid all the twists and turns and double-crosses, Easy confronts racism, an enduring feature "of the America I loved and hated." Mosley does a fine job highlighting a world of Black survivors who know how difficult their struggle remains, every day of every decade. This marvelous series is as relevant as ever.
Too many characters
Hard to keep track if all of them, more than 40!, especially when reading only 30 min a day, three times a week.
It’s 1969 and Easy is still detecting…
Fast-paced, intricate and engrossing. It was great to read another Easy Rawlings story! To see all the familiar characters come to life again.
I love Easy Rawlins! Couldn’t put it down!