“Little Green” by Walter Mosley
c.2013, Doubleday $25.95 293 pages
In the new novel “Little Green” by Walter Mosley, Easy Rawlins’ recent near demise never gave him but a moment’s rest. Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins was having dreams of death, but that was no surprise. He’d nearly died two months before, losing control of his car and landing in brush as the vehicle went into the California ocean.
Rawlins wasn’t dead but he should’ve been – and that was the only thing that made sense. He hurt all over and his head was muddled but, immediately after Easy came out of his semi-coma, his friend Mouse had needed a favor.
Nineteen-year-old Evander Noon was missing and his mother wanted him home. Mouse wanted the boy home too but he wouldn’t give Easy a reason. Nor would Mouse say why he called Evander “Little Green.”
Evander Noon wasn’t hard to find; in fact, Easy had to rescue him from a group of drug dealers who beat the boy while asking where the money was. Once free, Evander couldn’t recall much – he’d been on acid, tripping for five days – but when his mind got loose, he remembered plenty about that money: there was lots of it, stuffed in a blood-soaked bag.
But how did a wet-behind-the-ears teenager end up with over $200,000 of bloody cash without knowing where it came from? And how did Easy’s friend, Jackson Blue, end up in a similarly odd (but expensive) bit of trouble? Driving a borrowed red Barracuda, hopped up on Mama Jo’s Gator Blood, feeling like a young bull, Easy Rawlins would find out… or die trying.
That noise you hear? That’s a sigh of relief from legions of formerly-concerned fans, afraid they’d never read a new Easy Rawlins mystery again. Fortunately, author Walter Mosley dashed their needless worries against the California surf.
Set in 1967, “Little Green” is classic Easy, with underworld violence, sophisticated crime and men who efficiently take care of business – all with a noir feel, like a black Sam Spade. This is the kind of book where men wear fedoras and speak quiet philosophy, where women don’t yet realize their own strength, where Civil Rights are still brand-new and black folks are rarely friends with white ones.
Yep, I loved it.
Because it’s been six years since the last Easy Rawlins novel, I recommend that fans brush up some on his story; you’ll get up to speed quick enough. If you’re new to the series, grab the last couple novels and you’ll be fine. Either way, no matter how you seize it, “Little Green” is a book to die for.
The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old and never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 12,000 books. Her self-syndicated book reviews appear in more than 260 newspapers.