Finished March 1
Little Green by Walter Mosley, read by Michael Boatman
I had read a few novels by Walter Mosley before this, but never one featuring Easy Rawlins. This is the 12th book in the series.
The year is 1967, and Rawlins is recovering from an near fatal car accident. As he gradually regains consciousness, his close friend Mouse comes to him for help. A young man, Evander Noon, nicknamed Little Green by Mouse, has gone missing after a trip up to Sunset Strip. The case brings Rawlins out of his own issues, but he must go to Mama Jo for help in gaining the energy to pursue the case. Mama Jo provides him with an energizing and healing elixir she calls Gator's Blood that he is careful to use as directed. Rawlins search for Evander takes him to the other world that is the Sunset Strip. The world of hippies, free love, and racial bridges, but also the world of conmen, drug dealers, and those who take advantage of the innocent. He meets the hippie flower selling young woman Ruby who put Evander on an acid trip that took him on a dangerous adventure that Rawlins must get him out of.
There are other side plots here as well, such as the attempted blackmail of Rawlins' highly placed insurance industry friend Jackson Blue, the squatter who has taken over Rawlins' house while he was incapacitated, and the windows into Rawlins' personal life through his adopted children and love interest.
This book evokes a particular time period, but certain insights, particularly around racism, still read true today. Rawlins is a man who is capable of violence, but also one who will always choose another way if her can. The writing is absolutely wonderful, something I've found in every Walter Mosley book I've read. He has an extensive vocabulary, choosing the right word for each situation and character, and the story just flows.
Here, the narrator brings that all to life, as we see the various friends that Rawlins can rely on, each with their own particular personality. I will have to read more in this series.