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    Review of BAD BOY BRAWLY BROWN by Walter Mosley


    Little, Brown and Company, 2002

    Easy Rawlins has a real job now, but he still helps his friends, and when his friend John calls on him, Easy means to come through. John's step-son Brawly has vanished and may be running with the wrong crowd. John asks for Easy's help tracking down the young man and making sure that he's safe. But for an African-American in Los Angeles in 1964, little is safe. Revolution is in the air and Brawly is caught up in the movement. Easy suspects that there is more to this particular movement than schools and free lunches--especially when he stumbles over the body of Brawly's father. From then on, Easy has to manage to discover the truth while keeping himself alive.

    Author Walter Mosley (see all reviews of mystery or science fiction novels by this author) combines a compelling view of black society in Watts and America with an outstandingly well drawn and sympathetic character in Easy Rawlins. Rawlin's world view is simultaneously cynical about the big picture and filled with hope for the small but important things of life. Mosley paints pictures with language, opening the reader's eyes to an understanding that goes beyond simple matters of black and white into real insights into what it means to be human in America.

    BAD BOY BRAWLY BROWN is another outstanding work by Mosley. Fans of the series will find that it delivers everything they expect. Those new to Mosley or to Easy Rawlins will find it easy to start here--and will want to look for the earlier novels in the series as well. Well done.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 9/07/02

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