It's the Summer of Love, but anxiety, not libido, is at the forefront of Easy Rawlins's thoughts. His daughter, Feather, has contracted a rare blood disease; to save her life, Easy must come up with $35,000 lickety-split. Predictably, his Watts pal Mouse has a surefire money-making plan that involves armed robbery. Rejecting that risky option, Easy tries his luck instead with a missing-persons job involving an eccentric lawyer and an alluring woman named Cinnamon Cargill. Indelible atmosphere; memorable characters; realistic suspense.
With a voice like that, a rising body count, a dying little girl, a craven assassin and a soupçon of Nazism, you've got yourself a perfect book for the flight from D.C. to L.A. But wait, there's more -- and that's Mosley's genius: The entertainment takes place right in the cross hairs, while rich, complex issues dart by on the periphery.
The Washington Post
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.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Cinnamon Kiss is Mosley's latest in his very popular Easy Rawlins detective series. It's 1966 in Los Angeles, and Easy is desperate for money to pay for the expensive treatments needed by his gravely ill daughter, Feather. Initially considering returning to a partnership with his criminal friend Mouse, Easy instead is hired to track down a missing lawyer and some mysterious legal papers-a job that takes him to San Francisco, where he experiences firsthand the burgeoning hippie culture. Happily for the listener, Michael Boatman is back to read, with nearly perfect vocal depth and breadth. Tim Cain gives voice to The Wave, a new sf novel-clearly a genre that interests Mosley if not his fans. Featuring a contemporary hero down on his luck, repeatedly disturbed by phone calls from someone claiming to be his dead father resurrected, this work flows with a hackneyed plot and shallow characters toward a rather 1950s B-movie-ish ending. Though read with some skill by Cain, it's not enough to make the experience satisfying to anyone but the most extreme of the author's fans. Cinnamon Kiss is recommended for all collections; The Wave, only where demand warrants.-Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Watts has stopped burning, but it's no safer for Easy Rawlins, on the trail of some mysterious documents that leave death in their wake. A man will do things he never thought he would when his little girl is sick, and Easy's considering joining his friend Mouse Alexander for a holdup so that he can finance medical treatment for his ailing daughter Feather. Then his friend Saul Lynx offers him a job that may keep him afloat: tracking down storefront attorney Axel Bowers and his servant Philomena (Cinnamon) Cargill, together with a briefcase full of unspecified papers, for San Francisco shamus Robert E. Lee, who's acting on behalf of an anonymous client. Knowing that nobody pays a black man $10,000 without good reason, Easy expects trouble and treachery. He's not surprised when he learns that Bowers is dead and the documents he's been sent to retrieve include bearer bonds and a letter with an ugly pedigree that goes back to WWII. But he's not prepared for the stone killer who suddenly pops up behind him, or for the coolly manipulative way Cinnamon uses sex to get whatever she wants, or for the bad blood between Bobby Lee and Maya Adamant, his lieutenant. And he's certainly not prepared for the emotional storm the case will stir up in his own breast. Lacks the searing intensity of Little Scarlet (2004), but still as rich and tightly wound as you'd expect from Mosley.