cover image Cinnamon Kiss

Cinnamon Kiss

Walter Mosley, , read by Michael Boatman. . Time Warner Audiobooks, $31.98 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-59483-035-8

It isn't an easy job for an actor to bring to audio life all the many facets of Mosley's Easy Rawlins—the street smarts and survival skills that make him a good detective; the devoted family man who works as a junior high school custodian; the shrewd and compassionate historian of L.A.'s black community. Easy walks the razor's edge between the straight, property-owning life he aspires to and the crime and violence that surround him. Boatman, who did such a solid job on Rawlins's Little Scarlet , works harder and shines even brighter here. Desperately needing more money than he can raise to send his adopted daughter, Feather, to a Swiss clinic to treat her rare blood condition, Easy almost agrees to join his deadly best friend, Raymond "Mouse" Alexander, in an armed robbery. Boatman catches all the nuances of their first scene together—Easy full of moral qualms and practical fears; Mouse as calm and reassuring as a shoe salesman. When Rawlins gets a job in San Francisco, Boatman gets the chance to play crooked detectives and lawyers, mysteriously sexy females and that now-familiar gallery of supporting characters only a black Balzac could create. Simultaneous release with the Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, July 11). (Sept.)