When Walter Mosley burst onto the literary scene in 1990
with his first Easy Rawlins mystery, Devil
in a Blue Dress—a combustible mixture of Raymond Chandler and Richard
Wright—he captured the attention of hundreds of thousands of readers (including
future president Bill Clinton). Eleven books later, Easy Rawlins is one of the
few private eyes in contemporary crime fiction who can be called iconic and immortal.
In the incendiary and fast-paced Little
Green, he returns from the brink of death to investigate the dark side of
Los Angeles’ 1960s hippie haven, the Sunset Strip.
We last saw Easy in 2007’s Blonde Faith, fighting for his life after his car plunges over a
cliff. True to form, the tough World War II veteran survives, and soon his
murderous sidekick Mouse has him back cruising the mean streets of Los Angeles,
in all their psychedelic 1967 glory, to look for a young black man, Evander
“Little Green” Noon, who disappeared during an acid trip. Fueled by an elixir
called “gator’s blood,” brewed by the conjure woman Mama Jo, Easy experiences a
physical, spiritual, and emotional resurrection, but peace and love soon give
way to murder and mayhem.
Written with Mosley’s signature grit and panache,
this engrossing and atmospheric mystery is not only a trip back in time, it is
also a tough-minded exploration of good and evil, and of the power of guilt and
redemption. Once again, Easy asserts his reign over the City of (Fallen) Angels.
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