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Walter Mosley revisits Easy Rawlins’ neighborhood

Author Walter Mosley. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Author Walter Mosley. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

The Writer’s Life, By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic

When last we saw Walter Mosley’s detective Easy Rawlins, he had just lost control of a car he was driving on the Pacific Coast Highway north of Malibu. This was in the closing pages of the 11th (and apparently final) Rawlins book, “Blonde Faith,” published in 2007. “The back of my car hit something hard,” Easy tells us, “a boulder no doubt. Something clenched down on my left foot and pain lanced up my leg. I ignored this, though, realizing that in a few seconds, I’d be dead.”

And yet, six years later, Easy is back, narrating a new novel, “Little Green” (Doubleday: 292 pp., $25.95), that picks up where “Blonde Faith” left off. He is, if not entirely alive, then at least present, navigating a 1967 Los Angeles he barely recognizes in the wake of both the Watts riots and the Summer of Love.

“It was great,” Mosley enthuses, “because for all intents and purposes, Easy was dead. And when he came back to consciousness, he felt dead. … Most of my novels are about redemption. But ‘Little Green’ is about resurrection. And so, I naturally followed it, from having him wake up dead to, at the end of the book, actually being alive.” Read the rest of this entry »