In Mosley's fifth Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins mystery it's 1963 and streetwise, brooding Easy has established a "straight" life for himself and his two adopted street children. The supervising custodian of a school in Watts, Los Angeles, he arrives for work to find Mrs. Turner, a young, lovely teacher, distraught because her husband wants to kill her dog.
A couple hours later there's a dead man in the school yard, the teacher has disappeared and Easy's stuck with a yapping mutt while the police fit him - a black man with a shady past and an attitude - for murder.
Rawlins is a man of few words, keeping most of his dialogue interior. Mrs. Turner is beautiful, alluring, available.
"'Call me Idabell,' she said.
Call me fool."
Easy has his weaknesses but understands them. He's proud and as the bodies mount up, he evades the cops and pursues his own investigation - as much for the excitement as to save his own skin.
Mosley's style is all personality - strong, eloquent, streetwise, stubborn, vivid and determined. Easy tracks his quarry with savvy and cynicism - if he doesn't get the murderer, the cops will get him.
Mosley's latest is a tightly plotted, fast-paced and thoughtful read. Pure pleasure.