BLACK BETTY by Walter Mosley
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BLACK BETTY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

It's 1961, and Easy Rawlins has lost most of what he had five years ago in White Butterfly (1992). Not only has his wife walked out with his daughter, but his real estate investments have left him broke, and he's moved out of his own building to a rental in West LA, where shamus Saul Lynx comes to ask him to find aging mantrap Elizabeth Eady, aka Black Betty. Easy goes looking for Betty's gambling brother Marion, but finds nothing more of him than a bloody molar and a fat check from imperious Sarah Clarice Cain, daughter of the late, rich, unlamented Albert Cain. Why is Sarah so desperate to find Betty, and how is her disappearance tied to the police investigation of Albert's death? While he's pondering these questions, Easy finds big problems on his own doorstep. His investment in Freedom's Plaza is jeopardized by a smooth supermarket king who doesn't care for African-American competition; and his homicidal friend Mouse, sprung from jail after five years for manslaughter, is determined to identify and kill the witness who sent him there. It's high time the Easy Rawlins saga was recognized for the remarkable achievement it is: a snapshot social history of the black experience in postwar LA. This latest installment, teeming with violence, bitterness, and compassion, is Mosley's finest work yet.
Pub Date: June 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-393-03644-8
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Norton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1994




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