Charcoal Joe: An Easy Rawlins MysteryWalter Mosley
PositiveThe Washington PostChandler’s novels and James Ellroy’s 'L.A. Quartet' covered the same city and era — the 1940s and 1950s — but neither offered any real insight into the black side of town. Think of the wrongly charged black suspects in Ellroy’s brilliant L.A. Confidential, for example. The black guys are there as a plot complication. The detectives really don’t pay any price for blowing them away. If Easy had investigated? That would have been the story, full stop ... If you’ve read Mosley, you know that Easy is probably going to figure things out by the end, although at a cost. But like the crosstown drive from West L.A. to Watts, you don’t hop in the car with Easy Rawlins for the destination. You ride shotgun for the trip.
Since We FellDennis Lehane
RaveThe Washington Post...a pleasantly twisted character study and a love story told in no particular rush ... Lehane, is, as ever, a graceful writer, observant of the world that shapes his characters’ lives. The desperation that overtakes Rachel in the latter stages of the novel is part of the national baring of the teeth ... There’s nothing dubious about the merits here. Lehane is in command of what he’s doing — unspooling plot twists and developing his character as Rachel descends into her own heart of darkness.