"Terrific private investigator tale"
In 1965, the riots have devastated Los Angeles, but
Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins knows that atrocities will follow
as some of the mom and pop storeowners will lose more than
their livelihood in the aftermath. As he tries to keep a
friend Theodore Steinman safe, LAPD Detective Suggs
demands that Easy come with him or face arrest for
practicing private sleuthing without a license, not that a
Negro will be granted such a permit. Though he insists
that he is just a custodian at Sojourner Truth JHS who
also does Research and Delivery, Easy knows he has no
choice but to accompany the cop.
Suggs, Captain Fleck, and Deputy Chief Jordan show Easy
the corpse of scarlet haired Nola Payne, whom they claim
is victim #34 of a killer. The cops also say that the
suspected culprit was seen entering the apartment building
where the murder of Little Scarlet occurred. Because of
the riots, the brass wants white cops to keep their
presence to a minimum to avoid inciting further
disturbances. Thus, Jordan drafts Easy to find the
culprit before others are killed.
LITTLE SCARLET is a terrific private investigator tale
that is enhanced by the insightful look at the 1965-Watts
riots. The story line moves fast along two
interconnecting plots as the audience follows Easy with
Mouse's assistance search for the vanished prime suspect
to a backdrop of a raging populace that come to life as
only Walter Mosley can achieve. It is the historical
perspective that makes for a gripping tale that readers
will appreciate and have to come expect from one of the
best authors of any genre over the five or so.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted June 6, 2004