cover image BAD BOY BRAWLY BROWN: An Easy Rawlins Mystery

BAD BOY BRAWLY BROWN: An Easy Rawlins Mystery

Walter Mosley, . . Little, Brown, $24.95 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-316-07301-1

Finally. Five years after the last taste (1997's Gone Fishin') and six years after the last full meal (1996's A Little Yellow Dog), Easy Rawlins makes a very welcome return. Now 44 years old, Easy no longer makes a living from doing people "favors." Now he owns a house, works for the Board of Education in Los Angeles and is father to a teenage son, Jesus, and a young daughter, Feather. It's 1964, and while some things have changed, the process is slow and uncertain. Too slow for some, including Brawly Brown, the son of Alva, the girlfriend of Easy's friend, John. Hotheaded Brawly has become involved with a group calling itself the Urban Revolutionary Party, and John and Alva fear the group's unspoken aim is violence and revenge. Friendship and loyalty being still sacred to Easy, he agrees, as a favor, to try to locate and talk to Brawly. As usual, Easy's path is not easy. When a body surfaces, Easy finds himself in the middle of a vicious puzzle where lives are cheap and death the easiest solution. As always, Mosley illuminates time and place with a precision few writers can match whatever genre they choose. He also delivers a rousing good story and continues to captivate with characters readers have grown to love, including the now "dead" Mouse, who still plays an important role in Easy's chronicle. Agent, Gloria Loomis. (One-day laydown July 2)

Forecast:This one should shoot up bestseller lists, backed by a 10-city author tour and a major advertising and publicity campaign. The reissue and repackaging of six Easy Rawlins novels this fall, each with an original stand-alone story focusing on the fate of Easy's friend Mouse, will keep the momentum going.