Monday, May 13, 2013

#BookReview: Little Green: An Easy Rawlins Mystery - Walter Mosley

When he went over a cliff in Blonde Faith, most readers thought they'd never seen Easy Rawlins again.  It's been quite awhile since we last heard about Easy, so our fears were founded.  Never fear, six years later, Mosley has brought Easy back to his legion of fans and he's better than ever.

While we may have thought Easy was a goner, his best friend, the quick-tempered and quick thinking Mouse, knew Easy was still alive.  And thanks to the wisdom of Mama Jo, he knew just where to find him.  (Speaking of Mouse, Don Cheadle played the role so well in Devil in a Blue Dress, that I forgot Mouse was supposed to be a "light-skinned and light-eyed" man.)  And now that Easy is somewhat recovered, Mouse has his next case lined up.

Evander "Little Green" Noon has gone missing.  Neither his name nor his family is familiar to Easy, but Mouse is all het up about finding this manchild, so Easy gets up from his sick bed to do just that.  In a side of Los Angeles that we've not seen in previous Easy Rawlins' books, Walter Mosley introduces readers to the hippie culture on the Sunset Strip.  Along with the hippies comes the world of acid droppers and drug dealers, parts of the ever evolving 1960s.  It's a city and culture that Easy doesn't recognize, but brings him to the realization that the world he knows is changing much faster than he thought and he needs to change to keep up with it.

As in past Rawlins' stories, Mosley's black characters are almost always part of the Great Migration.  Most of us know that southern blacks migrated to places like Chicago, Detroit and St. Louis in search of factory jobs between 1910 and 1970, a great number of them migrated to California, with most coming from Texas, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.  As large and sprawling as Los Angeles is, these migrants stayed connected, creating their own unique communities.  Mosley plays upon this and reminds us of it it when Mouse and Easy call upon friends like Mama Jo from Louisiana or Martin Martins from Mississippi to assist them in finding the son of another migrant.

I remember being upset with Walter Mosley when I read Blonde Faith, essentially killing off Easy.  I've read his other books in the meantime, but I've never been as fascinated with characters like Leonid McGill.  And if there was one character other than Easy that I've always wanted him to bring back, it's Socrates Fortlow from Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned.  Though I understood that as an author he might have been bored with the Rawlins character and wanted to work on other characters and pursue other things, I felt like there was still life left in the series.  Apparently Mosley has decided there is too and has already written a follow up to Little Green called Rose Gold.  I'm already anticipating Easy's next adventure.






304pp
Published: May 2013
Disclosure: Copy of book received from publisher, opinions are my own.

 
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