An Easy Rawlins Novel
by Walter Mosley
Warner Vision Books
Back in 1990, Walter Mosley introduced Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins to the world of crime fiction in his novel, DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS. It was an instant best seller, as Mosley quickly established himself as the heir apparent to the likes of Dashiel Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Like them, he set his series in the heart of the gold coast,
Having Hammett’s gift for storytelling and
LITTLE SCARLET begins only hours after the tragic Watts Riots of Los Angeles back in the summer of 1965. Amidst the destruction and looting, a young black woman is murdered and the police believe it is the work of a white man. Fearing this will reignite the cauldron that is the black community, the police come to Easy and ask him to investigate privately. In doing so, Easy, for the first time in his life, begins to question his own attitudes and feelings about prejudice and racism. To his credit, he begins to realize the time has long past for taking a stand and ending the slavery-mind-set still chaining the souls of his people. That he also faces his own reactive racism towards whites is a deft, and wonderful revelation Mosley handles openly with truth and sensitivity.
The changing political and social scene of the country is changing. Civil Rights are now more than just platitudes and wishful thinking and Easy must come to grips with the future or be forever locked into the blind hatreds of the past. From the rich neighborhoods of
I truly enjoyed this new entry in the Easy Rawlins series and do recommend it, but with a caveat. To truly appreciate what is going on here, the reader should start at the beginning
and follow Easy right from the start. You can enjoy LITTLE SCARLET on its own, as a fine mystery. But you would be missing the rich dessert the entire series offers as a whole. And that would be a crime.