cover image LITTLE SCARLET


Walter Mosley, , read by Michael Boatman. . Time Warner Audiobooks, $34.98 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-58621-660-3

Admirably performed by reader Boatman, this audiobook—the latest in Mosley's series featuring Los Angeles PI Easy Rawlins (A Red Death , etc.)—picks up immediately after the Watts riots of 1965. It is a time of change, and Rawlins finds himself in the unusual position of being asked to officially help the LAPD in its search for the killer of a young black woman. Mosley is at his best capturing the gritty ambience of a setting, and Boatman's skillful reading of the author's rich, descriptive prose transports listeners to that sweltering summer, when violence and fear simmered just below the city's surface. With the support of the LAPD in his back pocket, Rawlins makes his way through places that had previously been closed, if not forbidden, to the blacks of that time. Boatman does a fine job of conveying the growing sense of confidence and strength that comes with Rawlins's newfound freedom. Tightly edited and nicely produced, this already enjoyable audiobook is further enhanced by snippets of jazz accenting the story elements at the beginning and end of each disc. Simultaneous release with the Little, Brown hardcover (Forecasts, May 24). (July)