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af Walter Mosley

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Serier: Easy Rawlins (1)

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In a Los Angeles bar, "Easy" Rawlins, a black war veteran just fired from his job, wonders how he'll pay his mortgage. DeWitt Albright, a quietly vicious white man, walks in and offers Easy good money if he'll find Daphne Monet.
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Engelsk (78)  Græsk (1)  Italiensk (1)  Spansk (1)  Alle sprog (81)
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Devil in a Blue Dress opens in Joppy's Bar – "a small bar on the second floor of a butchers' warehouse. His only usual customers were the Negro butchers … The odor of rotted meat filled every corner of the building; there were few people, other than butchers who could stomach sitting in Joppy's bar."
There, Ezekiel (Easy) Rawlins, three years back from combat with Patton's army, single, with a fresh GED, a mortgage, and just unemployed, is introduced to DeWitt Albright, white, a former lawyer, present fixer, by Joppy Shag, ex-boxer, "ranked number seven in 1932 but his big draw was the violence he brought to the ring."
There is a taint to Albright: when Easy first sees him he feels a slight fear "that went away quickly because I was used to white people by 1948." Albright reminds Easy of Raymond (Mouse) Alexander, a friend he had when he lived in Houston.
Easy Rawlins is a decent, man, who has fought for his country, who knows he is entitled to his own pride and deserves respect and justice; but, he also knows that as a black man, he will not get either.
Rawlins is unjustly fired and finds himself in danger of not being able to meet his mortgage and of losing his house – without which his identity would be shattered: "I felt that I was just as good as any white man, but if I didn't even own my front door the people would look at me like just another poor beggar, his his hand outstretched." To hold on to his house, he accepts a job from Albright. He is to go into Watts to find a white girl, Daphne Monet, who "likes jazz and pigs' feet and dark meat, if you know what I mean." He discovers the whereabouts of Daphne from the wife of his friend Dupree, Coretta James and is paid by Albright.
The next day Rawlins is hauled in by two police detective, Miller and Mason, who throw him into an interrogation room and humiliate and brutalise him but do not charge him with anything. He is baffled by the detention but learns later that Coretta has been beaten to death similarly to Howard Green who was working for the corrupt politician and pedophile, Maththew Teran.
That night he receive a call from Daphne asking for his help. He tells her: "I could bring you some money and put you in a cab over on Main. That's all." He meets Daphne who is a radiant beauty and is wearing a simple blue dress. Instead of the cab, he takes her and a large suitcase to where she says is the home of her friend, Richard. When they arrive, Richard is found dead with a knife in his chest. Daphne stuffs the large bag into Richard's pink Studebaker and leaves. When Easy returns home he is greeted by Albright and two thugs who threaten him and demand that he find the gangster Frank (Knifehand) Green. Later in fear of his life and knowing he is in trouble too deep to handle alone, he calls Mouse's wife, Etta, and asks her to tell Mouse to come to LA. While waiting for Mouse, Easy finds his way to the plush office of Todd Carter, Daphne's wealthy lover, who cares little for the thirty thousand dollars she has stolen from him, but loves Daphne. Mr. Carter hires him to find Daphne and promises to fire Albright. He learns from Carter that Daphne's friend Richard is Richard McGee, a pimp who supplies children to perverts and who has blackmailed Daphne.
Easy determines to find Frank Green. "Knifehand held the answer to my problems. He knew where the girl was , if anyone did, and he knew who killed Coretta … I was poor and black and a likely candidate for the penitentiary unless I could get Frank to stand between me and the forces of DeWitt Albright and the law."
Easy believes that it was the next two days he spent searching the haunts of Green that made him into the detective he was to become, but at the end of the two days it was Knifehand that found Easy and was on the edge of cutting his throat when Mouse got the drop on him. Except for Easy, Mouse would have killed the gangster. After Knifehand escapes, Mason and Miller again apprehend Rawlins this time as a suspect in the murder of Mathew Teran and Richard McGee. They have no evidence and release Easy who confronts Daphne and learns that it was she who killed Teran who had been blackmailing her and sexually abusing a small Mexican boy whom she takes home. Easy knows who has killed Richard having found at the scene an exotic brand of cigarette that only Junior Fornay smoked. Rawlins and Mouse confront Junior and he confesses.
Albright and Joppy find Easy and Daphne hiding in a motel owned by Easy's Latino friend, Primo, Joppy knocks Rawlins out and take Daphne to Albright's house where Easy, after recovering, finds them. In a shoot out Mouse arrives in the nick of time to save Rawlins killing Joppy and wounding Albright who drives away and is found dead later. Mouse tells Daphne who is the mulatto sister of Frank Green that Joppy killed her brother; later, Mouse tells Easy that it was he who had killed Frank.
Daphne shares the three thousand she had stolen from Todd Carter with Easy and Mouse and she leaves. Easy puts Mouse on a bus to Houston and takes the little Mexican boy to Primo with the arrangement to provide for him. Rawlins then goes to Carter and in order to save Daphne from prosecution for the murder of Teran concoct a series of events that absolve all except those already dead. The only victim not accounted for was Richard McGee and since a fingerprint was found on the knife that killed him, Easy sends the detectives to question Junior Fornay whom they apprehend.
Easy questions his own morality: "If you know a an is wrong, I mean, if you know he did somethin' bad but you don't turn him in to the law because he's your friend, do you think that's right?" … But then what if you know somebody else who did something wrong but not so bad as the first man, but you turn this other guy in?" Easy resolves both in the words of his friend Odell Jones: "All you got is your friends, Easy." and "I guess that the other guy got ahold of some back luck."
The novel ends after that with "We laughed for a long time."
  RonWelton | Mar 29, 2021 |
WWII vet hired to look for a white woman in black L.A.
  ritaer | Mar 4, 2021 |
Short but packed full of punch! Easy Rawlins is a memorable character, the dialogue is so flavorful you can taste it, and the plot was twistier than a baggy tie! ( )
  ShannonHollinger | Feb 15, 2021 |
It's okay. Just didn't really wow me. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
This is a tough one to rate--the reading level is fairly low so this is a super quick read. Mosley nails the classic noir style, so if noir is your thing, you should love this. I'm not a huge fan of classic noir in general (because helpless beautiful women trope), but here it is the sights/sound of LA that I love.

Is this great literature? No. Is it a great show of LA, including parts of LA, like Watts, that you don't often see in fiction? Yes. Is this a nice palate cleanser between more-literary books? Yes. Will I read the rest of the series? Yes, but I'm not racing anyone. ( )
  Dreesie | Dec 8, 2020 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Mosley, Walterprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Boatman, MichaelFortællerhovedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Chelius, JaneRedaktørmedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Corgatelli, RosaOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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In a Los Angeles bar, "Easy" Rawlins, a black war veteran just fired from his job, wonders how he'll pay his mortgage. DeWitt Albright, a quietly vicious white man, walks in and offers Easy good money if he'll find Daphne Monet.

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