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Cinnamon Kiss by Walter Mosley
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After dealing with the fallout from an external crisis--the LA riots--in the last books, Easy Rawlins must now face another more personal catastrophe: his adopted daughter Feather is extremely ill. The only way to save her may be to send her to an extremely expensive clinic abroad, and Easy is willing to do anything--up to and including murder--to get her the treatment she needs. Desperately searching for a case, he is faced with two alternatives: one, to accept a case from a pompous and mysterious "super-detective" and locate a missing man and the papers he ostensibly stole; two, to join his crooked friend Mouse on a bank heist. However, Easy quickly discovers that his first alternative may in fact lead him to even murkier waters than the second.

Mosley is one of the best noir writers out there, and the Easy Rawlins series exemplifies his skill; Rawlins' wry narration deftly captures the racial tensions of 60s LA. Yet every so often, I end up infuriated with Rawlins, and unfortunately, this is one of those books. My issue comes down to Easy's personality: he is astute in his analysis of the world and the circumstances he lives in, but in my opinion, he is almost entirely lacking in self-insight. He tends to rush to judgment, but he rarely evaluates whether his decisions or his opinions were justified. This makes him a rounded, real, character, but it's a trait I have issues with, and one reason I may prefer LT (first book:The Long Fall) to Easy. This book, with its focus on Easy's relationship with his girlfriend Bonnie, highlights this defect. hover for spoiler.

If you're hooked on the Rawlins series and don't mind the certain areas where he lacks introspection, I think this is an interesting addition to the series. For other readers, it may not be the best example of Mosley's talents, as it lacks the driving and coherent plot that characterizes other books in the series. It also lacks much of the little domestic moments that I tend to love about these books. However, if you're a fan of Mouse, he's a major player in this story, and Jackson Blue also makes an appearance. Mosley, as always, does a wonderful job in capturing the atmosphere of the city and its time period. One of my favorite moments in the books is Easy's bewildered interactions with hippies... that by itself made the book a worthwhile read. ( )
  page.fault | Sep 21, 2013 |
I gave this my best effort. It's a good read, just not uncommon enough for my taste. There are probably hundreds of novels like this. ( )
  Georgia.Bets | Jun 23, 2012 |
I could not manage to ever come to like Easy Rawlins. This is the only book featuring the detective that I have read, and I could not get myself to care what happened to him. He seemed very egotistical to me. I did understand his motivation to earn money for his daughter's medical care, and that seemed to me to be his sole redeeming quality. Other than that, he was the wisest, smartest, sexiest man alive, and best detective ever, and that grated on my nerves. ( )
  kimreadthis | May 9, 2011 |
I have missed Walter Mosley and Easy Rawlins after reading the first 4 in the Rawlins series as they were published in paperback. I went back after a discussion with friends, and was rewarded. In this novel, we have reached the late '60's, the height of the Haight. Mosley manages the duality of Rawlins, his identity as a member of a subordinate racial group and his identity as a thinking and moral person as deftly as is possible. His voice is unique, deliberately vulgar, and deliberately, provocatively, literary at turns. The story breaks down as a crime story or mystery, but makes up for itself as a novel of servitude, anger, violence, survival and transcendence. ( )
  BraveKelso | Jul 7, 2009 |
Whether I am listening in my car or reading, Mosley holds my attention with his smooth writing.
  lkoble | Jan 9, 2009 |
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With his latest, Cinnamon Kiss, Mosley has written what is certainly the most emotionally complex Rawlins book to date, delving deeper and more subtly into Rawlins’ pain and rage than ever before.
added by MikeBriggs | editLA Weekly, Ben Cosgrove (Oct 20, 2005)
 
The good guys win, the ending is bittersweet, and Mosley sets up a sequel. It's interesting to absorb the changes as Easy ages along with the times. Here, however, the distractions -- and some are pips -- get in the way of his development.
 
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For Ossie Davis,

our shining king
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"So it's real simple," Mouse was saying. When he grinned the diamond set in his front tooth sparkled in the gloom.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316073024, Hardcover)

It is the Summer of Love and Easy Rawlins is contemplating robbing an armored car. It's farther outside the law than Easy has ever traveled, but his daughter, Feather, needs a medical treatment that costs far more than Easy can earn or borrow in time. And his friend Mouse tells him it's a cinch. Then another friend, Saul Lynx, offers a job that might solve Easy's problem without jail time. He has to track the disappearance of an eccentric, prominent attorney. His assistant of sorts, the beautiful "Cinnamon" Cargill, is gone as well. Easy can tell there is much more than he is being told-Robert Lee, his new employer, is as suspect as the man who disappeared. But his need overcomes all concerns, and he plunges into unfamiliar territory, from the newfound hippie enclaves to a vicious plot that stretches back to the battlefields of Europe.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:45 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"It is the Summer of Love as Cinnamon Kiss opens, and Easy Rawlins is deep in a conversation with his lifelong friend Mouse about robbing an armored car. It's a cinch, Mouse says. This would be further outside the law than Easy has ever traveled - but his daughter Feather urgently needs a medical treatment that costs far more than Easy can earn or borrow in time.". "Then another friend offers a job that just might solve Easy's problem without the risk of jail time. He has to travel to San Francisco to investigate the disappearance of an eccentric, prominent attorney and his assistant of sorts, the beautiful Cinnamon Cargill. Easy can see there is much more to this story than he is told - Robert Lee, his new employer, is as shadowy and suspect as the man Easy is seeking. And the woman who fronts for Lee is as alluring and dangerous as they come. But Easy's need overcomes all concerns. Far away from his usual network of contacts and support, he plunges into unfamiliar territory, from the newfound hippie enclaves of San Francisco to a violent and vicious plot that stretches back to the battlefields of Europe."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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