Walter Mosley’s indelible detective Easy Rawlins is back, with a new detective agency and a new mystery to solve.
Picking up where his last adventures in Rose Gold left off in L.A. in the late 1960s, Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins finds his life in transition. He’s ready—finally—to propose to his girlfriend, Bonnie Shay, and start a life together. And he’s taken the money he got from the Rose Gold case and, together with two partners, Saul Lynx and Tinsford “Whisper” Natly, has started a new detective agency. But, inevitably, a case gets in the way: Easy’s friend Mouse introduces him to Rufus Tyler, a very old man everyone calls Charcoal Joe. Joe’s friend’s son, Seymour (young, bright, top of his class in physics at Stanford), has been arrested and charged with the murder of a white man from Redondo Beach. Joe tells Easy he will pay and pay well to see this young man exonerated, but seeing as how Seymour literally was found standing over the man’s dead body at his cabin home, and considering the racially charged motives seemingly behind the murder, that might prove to be a tall order.
Between his new company, a heart that should be broken but is not, a whole raft of new bad guys on his tail, and a bad odor that surrounds Charcoal Joe, Easy has his hands full, his horizons askew, and his life in shambles around his feet.
From the Hardcover edition.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
An iBooks Best of 2016 pick. Walter Mosley's 14th Easy Rawlins mystery finds the dapper private investigator enmeshed in a racially charged murder case in 1968 Los Angeles. Mosley, who won the 2016 Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America, knows how to weave a killer plot, but he's truly peerless when it comes to creating indelible, vibrant, flawed characters—and getting us to root for them, warts and all.
Set in 1968, MWA Grand Master Mosley's excellent 14th Easy Rawlins mystery (after 2014's Rose Gold) finds the favor-dealing L.A. PI working as a partner in the WRENS-L Detective Agency, which combines his initials with those of his two partners. A dangerous friend of Easy's, Raymond "Mouse" Alexander, introduces him to Rufus "Charcoal Joe" Tyler, who wants Easy to clear Seymour Brathwaite, a 22-year-old doctor of physics doing postgraduate work at UCLA. Seymour was arrested on suspicion of fatally shooting a couple of crooks at a beach house in Malibu. Easy can't get the whole truth from Charcoal Joe or Seymour, and he soon finds himself embroiled with deadly foes in a quest for missing money and jewels. Easy gets help from such series regulars as police captain Melvin Suggs and Fearless Jones, but Easy does his own heavy lifting in dramatic fashion. As always in this series, racism in all its insidious forms is central. As Easy observes, "Life was like a bruise for us back then, and today too." This is a must for Easy Rawlins fans and anyone who appreciates fresh, powerful prose. Author tour.
Good book, kind of slow but easy read. Need more action.