A Red Death (Easy Rawlins Series #2)

A Red Death (Easy Rawlins Series #2)

3.9 10
by Walter Mosley, Stanley Bennett Clay
     
 

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It's 1953, a time when Red-baiting was official policy, and racial tensions boiled. Easy Rawlins is in deep trouble. A corrupt, racist IRS agent is breathing down his neck about some unpaid taxes. His only out: cut a deal with the FBI to infiltrate the First African Baptist Church and spy on a former World War II resistance fighter suspected of stealing some

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Overview

It's 1953, a time when Red-baiting was official policy, and racial tensions boiled. Easy Rawlins is in deep trouble. A corrupt, racist IRS agent is breathing down his neck about some unpaid taxes. His only out: cut a deal with the FBI to infiltrate the First African Baptist Church and spy on a former World War II resistance fighter suspected of stealing some top secret government plans.

But the IRS isn't Easy's only problem. His life becomes even more complicated and dangerous when his old flame EttaMae Harris shows up with her murderous husband, Easy's best friend, Raymond "Mouse" Alexander, hard on her heels. And then killings begin, and Easy finds himself playing the role of betrayed and betrayer - and the prime suspect.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This is the second novel in Mosley's superb series featuring Easy Rawlins, a black private investigator living in 1950s Los Angeles. In July Norton will publish White Butterfly , a third Mosley mystery starring Rawlins, which received a starred review in PW (Fiction Forecasts, May 4).
New York Newsday

The thriller or detective story, raised to a higher level...action, suspense, a well-crafted plot...fast-moving [and] enjoyable.

The Indianapolis News

This is a master at work: we would be well advised to seek everything Walter Mosley writes.

Mirabella

A Red Death is a straightforward, cleanly nasty treat. The writing is funky and knowing, with a no-fools cast.

Los Angeles Times Book Review

Mosley...is here to stay and not to be missed.

Library Journal
A Red Death confirms just how ambitious Mosley's acclaimed Easy Rawlins series (e.g, Devil in a Blue Dress, Audio Reviews, LJ 9/15/94) means to be. The tale presents a social history of black life in Watts over the course of several decades via the conventions of the hard-boiled private eye novel. The early 1950s finds Rawlins working as a janitor in buildings he secretly owns. When the IRS nabs him for tax evasion, his only way out is to cooperate with the FBI in bringing down a leftist Jewish man who is organizing through black churches. Worse yet, Etta Mae Harris has left Easy's deadly friend Mouse and seems finally ready to reciprocate Easy's long-time passion for her, placing his life in jeopardy from Mouse. Reader Stanley Bennett Clay has a great time with the many character voices and gives a fine reading. Highly recommended.-John Hiett, Iowa City P.L
Wall Street Journal
Fascinating and vividly rendered...exotic and believable, filled with memorable individuals and morally complex situations.
San Francisco Chronicle
No other American writer...has successfully managed to mold the detective form into a historical serial of this sort, and one can only admire the fision behind the adventure.
Detroit News/Free Press
Mosley's skills are, in a word, prodigious.
Kirkus Reviews
Watts, 1953. Easy Rawlins, fresh from his Edgar-nominated debut (Devil in a Blue Dress), reluctantly agrees to spy on Communist union- organizer Chaim Wenzler for Red-baiting FBI agent Darryl Craxton in order to get IRS agent Reginald Lawrence—hot on his trail for back taxes on his off-the-books apartment buildings _ off his back. But nobody (as Easy knows all too well) ever gets off a black man's back; and long before Poinsettia Jackson, one of Easy's hard-case tenants, is found hanging from a strap in the apartment she's stopped paying for and before Chaim Wenzler7#39;s work leads Easy to the African Migration movement, the First African Church, and Reverend Towne and Tania Lee are shot in flagrante delictinevitably to be followed by Wenzler himself—Easy realizes that the two federal men are playing him off against each other. Who pulled the trigger on Wenzler and the others? As in Devil in a Blue Dress, Mosley's plot is so tangled it hardly matters. But the laconic poetry of Easy's voice floats through a central situation much more original and compelling than before. This time Mosley earns the acclaim his first novel received.

From the Publisher
New York Newsday The thriller or detective story, raised to a higher level...action, suspense, a well-crafted plot...fast-moving [and] enjoyable.

The Indianapolis News This is a master at work: we would be well advised to seek everything Walter Mosley writes.

Mirabella A Red Death is a straightforward, cleanly nasty treat. The writing is funky and knowing, with a no-fools cast.

Los Angeles Times Book Review Mosley...is here to stay and not to be missed.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781559277198
Publisher:
Macmillan Audio
Publication date:
07/01/1902
Series:
Easy Rawlins Series, #2
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
5.08(w) x 6.24(h) x 1.93(d)

Meet the Author

Walter Mosley is the author of the acclaimed Easy Rawlins series of mysteries, and the novels Blue Light, RL's Dream, Futureland and Fearless Jones, as well as two collections of stories featuring Socrates Fortlow - Walkin' the Dog and Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned for which he received the Anisfield-Wold award. He was born in Los Angeles and lives in New York.

Stanley Bennett Clay has received three NAACP Theatre Awards for writing, directing, and co-producing the critically acclaimed play Ritual, as well as a Pan African Film Festival Jury Award for the film adaptation. Clay has also narrated three titles written by Walter Mosley and published by Macmillan Audio – Black Betty, A Red Death, and White Butterfly

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
January 12, 1952
Place of Birth:
Los Angeles, California
Education:
B.A., Johnson State College
Website:
http://www.waltermosley.com

Read an Excerpt

It's 1953 in Red-baiting, blacklisting Los Angeles, a moral tar pit ready to swallow Easy Rawlins. Easy is out of "the hurting business" and into the housing (and favor) business when a racist IRS agent nails him for tax evasion. Special Agent Darryl T. Craxton, FBI, offers to bail him out if he agrees to infiltrate the First American Baptist Church and spy on alleged communist organizer Chaim Wenzler. That's when the murders begin....

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