Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Easy Rawlins, Nazis, and the Summer of Love

Cinnamon Kiss: A NovelCinnamon Kiss: A Novel by Walter Mosley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cinnamon Kiss is the tenth book in Mosley's exciting Easy Rawlins series. Like the others, the novel is filled with interesting characters (other than the world weary protagonist and his dangerous friend Mouse), deft plot twists, and a bit of philosophy.

In 1966 Los Angeles, Easy, trying to raise money to save his adopted daughter, has to choose between helping Mouse pull off the heist of an armored car or taking a case from a man who isn't forthcoming about what and who are involved. The more Rawlins looks into the case, and the woman called Cinnamon, the more he feels he must get to the bottom of everything for more reasons than money.

The novel is fast paced, even when Easy is spending time thinking, and there is plenty to interest any reader. There is a generous amount of sex, betrayal, a heartless killer, hippies and even Nazis!

My main concern about Cinnamon Kiss is that Mosley, a skillful writer of well-crafted tales, spends too much time in the telling mode concerning "how it was in those days" for African Americans. One or two sentences are fine, but Mosley could easily have allowed the details of his story to provide that information instead stating it over and over. Had he done so, I think the impact of this important message would have been much greater.

This problem isn't likely to bother everyone, however. The book, as with so many of Mosley's, provides readers a necessary, but neglected history. I also love watching the fascinating mind of Easy Rawlins at work here. Fans of the series should enjoy Cinnamon Kiss. Those who have not been introduced to Walter Mosley (where have you been?) should also find good reading in this part of the saga.

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