BookBrowse Reviews Blonde Faith by Walter Mosley

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Blonde Faith

by Walter Mosley

Blonde Faith by Walter Mosley X
Blonde Faith by Walter Mosley
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2007, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2008, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kathy Pierson

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Easy Rawlins comes home from work and finds more trouble on his doorstep in a day than most men encounter in a lifetime ....

The many fans of Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins are sure to be satisfied with this tenth novel in the series. From the opening pages of Blonde Faith, continual problems assail Easy and those he loves, but this "unwilling detective" maintains steady focus as he searches for answers in the neighborhoods of south-central Los Angeles. The interconnected story arcs evolve and intertwine against a 1967 backdrop of civil injustice, Vietnam fallout, and rampant racism. Forceful personalities and frequent plot twists combine easily in Mosley’s smooth narrative about the inner and outer trials of this melancholic, reluctant hero. Love, longing, loneliness, and broken memories are as much a part of his life as criminal investigations, gunshot trajectories, and speeding automobiles. The author’s ear for dialogue and vernacular is very good, and the flowing prose style makes reading a pleasure.

For readers who may not be familiar with earlier books by this prolific and awarded writer, be assured that Blonde Faith can also be enjoyed as a standalone mystery. It's true that at times, because of Easy’s wide social ties and past successful cases, a new reader can feel like the only guest at a party who doesn’t already know everybody there. However, the narrator resolves this potential pitfall by repeatedly providing history, back stories, and context whenever Easy’s old friends, enemies, and acquaintances appear.

In keeping with the genre of "private eye" protagonists, Ezekiel is intuitive, intelligent, and omniscient – sometimes to the level of fantasy, like an all-knowing, middle-aged black superman. He is a tough street killer with a sensitive heart; a man of learning haunted by his choices; a recovering alcoholic, and a ready lover with absolutely no need for Viagra. The innate complexity and roiling conflicts in his work are a key part of the interest, and make the strong, brooding Easy Rawlins an admirable and memorable character.

Reviewed by Kathy Pierson

This review was originally published in November 2007, and has been updated for the August 2008 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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