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Paperback A Red Death : An Easy Rawlins Novel Book

ISBN: 0743451767

ISBN13: 9780743451765

A Red Death : An Easy Rawlins Novel

(Book #2 in the Easy Rawlins Series)

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

It's 1953 in Red-baiting, blacklisting Los Angeles, a moral tar pit ready to swallow Easy Rawlins. Easy is out of "the hurting business" and into the housing (and favor) business when a racist IRS agent nails him for tax evasion. Special Agent Darryl T. Craxton, FBI, offers to bail him out if he agrees to infiltrate the First American Baptist Church and spy on alleged communist organizer Chaim Wenzler. That's when the murders begin....

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Exceptional novel

I'm not quite sure if this novel qualifies entirely as a mystery novel because there are so many layers that permeate the book, envelop the senses and relate to the reader about another world that sits on the fringes of everyday African-American reality. There is within thsi book something that can only be compared to the U.S. discovering a Nazi secret decoding book. There is a cadence, a language, a knowledge that is carried within Africanist people, thrugh the neighborhoods, the folks that live in them that is apparent here. That's very, very hard to translate adequately on to paper, to reveal that code, bare it to the light of publication and yet in many ways still keep it private. Easy Rawlins is more complicated than simply being a good man. He's a bit of a tortured man, wanting his best friends woman and child as his own, risking death to be with them and then still remaining loyal to his insane friend Mouse and telling him where they are. Problem #1. Problem #2 Another insane man, an IRS man who is after Easy for not paying his taxes and who challenges Easy as at face value, the color of his skin not realizing that Easy will kill him, wants to kill him and is only stopped by a meeting with Problem #3---an insane FBI agent who wants Eays to infiltrate a Baptyist church to root out communists. Of course Easy knows that communism is the scapegoat for the ol' okey-doke but he's in a terrible spot and getting more and more desperate. Usually half way through a book you can see where it's going, who has to die, who the killer is, even why the killer did something but Mosley turns this around into something that chugs the mystery along but makes it secondary to whatever is goign on in Easy's life. Every thing has a freenzy, a desperation in Easy's life---love, sex, money but he's trapped by what color he is and where he's comfortable. I read this book in a night and felt a nice comfort in its' embrace, its' soft language and hard people. People who drift in and out of the story, some mattering, some not but all the same all of them are watching Easy, some with love, most not. I don't know if this can be seen as the best book from a series and I don't even know if a series can be seen from these books---they stand on their own but shoudl be read one right after the other. I'm jumping all over the Easy map now but the one thing I can say is that I met Mr. Mosley, I wa swalking with a friend and he wa sstanding by a tree in the Village, and right before we got close enough to speak with shared a glance, a look that communicated so much, as much as Easy does in and more about what it is to be an African-American man simply being, how trouble gonna come for you and your choices are face it, run, kill it or be killed. Not too many books teach aabout manhood, African-American manhood so deftly. Buy the book, send it to a friend, not all of them will get it but then tell them that this is why African-American strangers nod, say hello to each

A window into a very different world

One of the great things about fiction is that not only do you get the fun of plot and characters, sometimes you really can learn something. This book really opened the eyes of both my husband and I about the world of 1950's Watts and the whole red-baiting McCarthyism scene. Pretty scary stuff but a good thing for two white boomers.EZ Rawlins continues to grown as a character. Clay's narration on the unaudited tape is terrific. The side characters are pretty interesting. The plot is solid and has a dandy twist at the end. Still, what lingers with me is the scenes of black life - the churches, the bars, EZ's wisdom on concealing his wealth.A good read if you like mysteries and/or are interested in a look at African-American culture from a point of view other than the Oprah books.

There's much to enjoy and ponder...

Watts-1953 and everything's easy for Ezekiel Porterhouse "Easy" Rawlins. His real estate investments are doing well, he has good friends and finally has access to the woman of his dreams [downside: she's the estranged wife of his best friend!] Things become not so easy very quickly though as our protagonist attracts the attention of a zealous IRS agent, becomes a reluctant undercover agent for the FBI, loses one of his best and long time friends and finds himself a possible suspect in several murders. To clear himself and make peace with his inner world, he must find the killer[s].Mosely guides his audience through various characters, locations and situations. What appeals to me about his writing, aside from the fluid use of language and imagery and the creation of believable, albeit complex characters, is his ability to distill and articulate certain thoughts as they existed in the minds black people in America in the 50's [if not today!]. Mosely writes about who and what he knows, just as Gresham knows the law and creates settings and situations based on his particular knowledge, so too Mosely. A Red Death is solid, colorful and entertaining storytelling. Take it, "Easy!"

Marvelous!!!

I loved it I loved it I loved it!!! Walter Mosely is clearly here to stay. The book was written well and the mystery was not "easy" to solve. Captivating and intriguing. I can't wait to read the others!

Brilliant weave of provacative mystery and intrigue

This was my first Walter Mosley novel. I had not done any reading for fun for some time. This book engulfs the reader in the world that Easy Rawlins exists in. All characters are beautifully distinct and colorful. You will truly enjoy this book.
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