Walter Mosely, Little Green

Little Green is Walter Mosely’s newest Easy Rawlins novel. It brings the iconic detective back from the dead to a second chance at life and from an even ten books to a decidedly uneven eleven, and I feel like these things could be metaphors for each other, that both the character and the series had been properly settled and nicely buried but were made to come back one time too many.

There were good reasons why Rawlins died, good reasons why he killed himself by driving his car off a cliff, and none of them were solved by bringing him back to life, none of them solved through the story of the eleventh novel either. He returns, not as the Easy Rawlins of Devil in a Blue Dress who battled working class poverty and systemic racism in order to keep his little house in Los Angeles, but as an Easy Rawlins with a mansion in Beverly Hills and a collection of rental properties and any number of friends in high places and even a maid. He is no longer a compelling character, no longer a figure that inspires sympathy, and without this sympathy the novel is not much more than an average detective novel, with the same tendencies to easy simile and tough-guy dialogue and simplistic characterization.

There are times when a character comes to its logical conclusion, and Easy Rawlins came to his. It is unfortunate that he was made to go beyond it.

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