Bad Boy Brawly Brown (Easy Rawlins Mystery)

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9780316073011: Bad Boy Brawly Brown (Easy Rawlins Mystery)

Trying to locate a family friend who has become involved with a radical resistance group, Easy Rawlins stumbles onto a murder scene only to be named a suspect, and he finds himself exploring a world of betrayal, trying to stay alive. 275,000 first printing.

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Review:

Racial tensions and America's civil rights movement have previously figured into Walter Mosley's series about sometimes-sleuth Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins. But Bad Boy Brawly Brown turns what had been a background element into compelling surface tension. The year is 1964, and though Easy seems settled into honest work as a Los Angeles custodian, he's having other problems--notably, his adopted son's wish to quit school and lingering remorse over the death (in A Little Yellow Dog) of his homicidal crony, Raymond "Mouse" Alexander. Yet he remains willing to do "favors" for folks in need. So, when Alva Torres comes to him, worried that her son, Brawly Brown, will get into trouble running with black revolutionaries, Easy agrees to find the young man and "somehow ... get him back home." His first day on the job, however, Rawlins stumbles across Alva's ex-husband--murdered--and he's soon dodging police, trying to connect a black activist's demise to a weapons cache, and exposing years of betrayal that have made Brawly an ideal pawn in disastrous plans.

Mosley's portrayal of L.A.'s mid-20th-century racial divide is far from simplistic, with winners and sinners on both sides. He also does a better-than-usual job here of plot pacing, with less need to rush a solution at the end. But it is Easy Rawlins's evolution that's most intriguing in Brawly Brown. A man determined to curb his violent and distrustful tendencies, Easy finds himself, at 44, having finally come to peace with his life, just when the peace around him is at such tremendous risk. --J. Kingston Pierce

About the Author:

Walter Mosley is the author of the acclaimed Easy Rawlins series, the novels Fearless Jones, Blue Light and RL's Dream, and two collections of stories Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, for which he received the Anisfield-Wold Award.

He was born in Los Angeles and lives in New York.

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