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Bad Boy, Brawley Brown
by Walter Mosley

Category: Fiction / Mystery
320 pages; ISBN: 0316073016

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

In 1964 Compton, California, former fixer Easy Rawlins struggles with the death of his pal Mouse. Though he knows Mouse lived a dangerous life, Easy blames himself for his buddy being fatally shot, but he wonders if the medicos were wrong and his old Houston friend somehow survived, as there was no closure. In spite of his deep feelings of guilt, with two youngsters to nurture and a girlfriend to love, Easy goes straight.

Another Houston friend John asks Easy for a favor. His live in girl friend Alva Torres worries about her twenty-three year old son (from a previous marriage) hanging with the Urban Revolutionary Party. She wants Easy to find and talk to Brawly before he gets in too deep with these radicals. Unable to say no, Easy begins a search with Mouse in his subconscious guiding him through the urban jungle where even the law is an enemy to a black man.

The return of Easy, cleverly accompanied by Mouse at least in the hero’s mind, is time for rejoicing for those who enjoy an entertaining yet insightful “professional” amateur sleuth historical mysteries. Easy remains an interesting character struggling with his loss and the need to take care of his two charges while helping a friend within a strong entry that shines a light on Los Angeles during the Civil Rights era. New readers will want to obtain Easy’s previous appearances (DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS and A LITTLE YELLOW DOG) as Walter Mosley shows why he is one of the best.

Harriet Klausner

 

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