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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Easy Rawlins Gem
Though Devil in a Blue Dress and A Red Death are great reads which stand apart from other books in the genre White Butterfly might be the best Easy Rawlins story. Like Ross Macdonald, Walter Mosley weaves a tapestry of pain and heartache and human frailty into White Butterfly. Along the way we get to revisit the friendship of Mouse and Easy and again we learn that there...
Published on June 2 2002

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exciting Thriller
Mosley delivers an exciting mystery novel that once again, centers around the life of Easy Rawlins. Easy is recruited to find the murderer of a young white coed, who happens to be the daughter of a prominent LA Asst D.A. She was also found dead in a mostly black area of Los Angeles and LAPD detectives coerces Rawlins into assisting them with their investigation. Only...
Published on May 26 2004 by J. Lewis


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Easy Rawlins Gem, June 2 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: White Butterfly (Hardcover)
Though Devil in a Blue Dress and A Red Death are great reads which stand apart from other books in the genre White Butterfly might be the best Easy Rawlins story. Like Ross Macdonald, Walter Mosley weaves a tapestry of pain and heartache and human frailty into White Butterfly. Along the way we get to revisit the friendship of Mouse and Easy and again we learn that there are degrees of right and wrong.
It is only the killing of a white girl which prompts the police to ask for Easy's help. There was no hurry when only black girls were getting murdered in the Los Angeles of 1956. It is the last thing Easy wants as he has a woman named Regina and a child in his life now. Yet he can not give all of himself to them and holds back from telling Regina about his life and his property and where he gets his money.
Mosley has tightly written a character who though good also is flawed and wrestles with his own life and motives as much as he does with the cops and bad guys. We understand why Easy is more comfortable with the amoral Mouse than with the rest of society. You do not have to be black to appreciate the complex moral landscape Mosley paints of Easy's world. You feel Easy's personal loss at the end of this book and it stays with you longer than the mystery.
If Ross Macdonald wrote like a slumming angel then Mosley writes like an angel of the slums. He doesn't try to make us understand Easy's world, only lets us ride along with Easy as he attempts to make sense of it all himself. In the struggle we learn about pain and sorrow and regret, which is to say we learn about life. Reading this book will make you want more of Easy and more of Walter Mosley.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A bit pallid, but still good., April 24 1998
By A Customer
Walter Mosley again demonstrates his incredible ability to recreate hard-boiled detective fiction in a fresh and original manner, but without quite the explosive shock produced by _Devil in a Blue Dress_. Perhaps Easy has simply mellowed a bit with age and marriage, but he seems neither as driven nor as angry as before. The plot twist hinges on sex again, but somehow the revelation is less believable than in Mosley's debut. Fortunately, these problems are counterbalanced by glorious writing and characters. In particular, Raymond "Mouse" Alexander--either the best or worst sidekick a detective could have--is back and in great zoot-suited, woman-chasing, enemy-demolishing form. Mosley's careful depiction of Easy's ambivalent dependence on, love for, and disgust with Mouse is a wonder of characterization. While _White Butterfly_ lacks the edge that made Mosely's previous work soar above all other detective fiction on the market, it's still an addictive, delightful page-turner, and in terms of atmosphere, Mosley is still better than any other writer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Mosley's best work., Oct. 21 1999
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This review is from: White Butterfly (Paperback)
"White Butterfly" is in my opinion Mr. Mosley's best work. This is from a devoted fan of his writing. I've read nearly everything he's written and this work stands out for its intrigue, suspense, character development and its microcosmic journey into the harsh realities of American's fixation on race.
Intelligent, subtle treatment of the tension which can exist given America's juxtaposition of race, sex, and murder on the life of strong black man struggling with his desire to live the American Dream not the American nightmare- even though there are dream ghosts and phanthoms everywhere. Great, classical work.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mystery novel as work of art, March 17 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: White Butterfly (Paperback)
This is a wonderfully crafted novel that takes Easy Rawlins into uncharted emotional waters. I give it four stars instead of five only because I felt the resolution to the mystery aspect of the story was a little too pat. However, the moving and unexpected emotional crisis faced by Easy near the end was truly heartbreaking. As with all the Easy Rawlins books, author Walter Mosley has taken the tried-and-true mystery genre and turned it into a commentary on race and class. Taken together, these books constitute an American masterpiece, and White Butterfly is one of the best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best, Nov. 6 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: White Butterfly (Paperback)
My first Mosley and still my favorite, though I have enjoyed every single one - through Walkin The Dog, Gone Fishin and the Socrates stories. It's interesting how Devil In A Blue Dress and Always Outnumbered translated beautifully into movie/TV presentations. Perfect actors, perfect ambiance. Mr. Mosley must be gratified. I'm always on the lookout for more Easy Rawlins...and Mouse.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Strong Plot Strong Characters, Sept. 12 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: White Butterfly (Hardcover)
... Mosley gives us a male character who isn't afraid to cry and when he gets angry he doesn't get violent but does get even. The mystery surrounding the death of the white stripper is cleverly written into the plot and when the clues reveal the killer they all make sense. This series improves with each novel and Easy is turning into a complex person who has demons of his own to battle.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction..., Aug. 21 2000
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Erik J. Larsen (st. paul, mn) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: White Butterfly (Paperback)
This was my first Mosley/Easy Rawlins mystery and I enjoyed it immensely. It had depth of character and interesting plot twists and turns. I also liked the fact that it was a story about African Americans in 1956 Los Angeles and it didn't rely on the 'N' word for shock value (unlike Ellroy and a few others). I think it was a great introduction to the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars While not the best Mosley story, this is still a must read!!, Aug. 4 1997
By A Customer
Whether you're a fan of Mysteries, good fiction, or Walter Mosley, you should read this book. Overflowing with true-to-life, believable characters, you'll wish the book was twice as long. Gripping, imaginative, thrilling, compelling and mournful. A surprise ending. Definitely a MUST READ
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exciting Thriller, May 26 2004
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Mosley delivers an exciting mystery novel that once again, centers around the life of Easy Rawlins. Easy is recruited to find the murderer of a young white coed, who happens to be the daughter of a prominent LA Asst D.A. She was also found dead in a mostly black area of Los Angeles and LAPD detectives coerces Rawlins into assisting them with their investigation. Only problem is that Easy is now married with a daughter and has to put his family situation in jeopardy if he decides to offer help. He goes through his usual questioning of witnesses and as usual, he discovers a few surprises in the process.
A good thriller but like most Mosley novels, he has too many characters to keep track of. Also, Easy is a borderline alcoholic in this one as he is always coming out of the liquor store or some kind of bar filled with scotch. It's a wonder how he's able to question his witnesses without slurring his speech or staggering all over the place since he's drunk throughout most of the book. A good novel but not one of Mosley's best efforts.
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