Mosley continues advancing the mystery genre with his novel Blood Grove ... Mosley’s authorial superpower remains his razor-sharp perception. Through Rawlins, who operates from his corner of Los Angeles, Mosley speaks to the nation’s current ills, to the effect that Blood Grove feels more like Rawlins seeing into the future than Mosley writing about the past ... This novel is more than a simple mystery meant for entertainment; it and its serial predecessors advocate for the Black hero in literature and in life ... At a time when cities around the world are speaking out against the unjust treatment of Black and Brown people, particularly by police, Mosley astutely invokes the imagery of segregation during World War II and the some hundred cities burning during the unrest that ensued after King’s assassination. Rawlins survived it all ... The words uttered by Mosley through Rawlins are a reminder that there will always be social justice work to be done and that not many will leave unscathed by the trauma – and he manages to do it without a soapbox ... Despite the painful history lessons he faces along the way, Rawlins’s journey is not without joy. From his witty remarks while staring down the barrel of a gun to being genuinely starstruck when a member of the Rat Pack makes a cameo, to his unapologetic love for his daughter, Blood Grove is not so bleak and burdened to the point of unapproachability. It is a strong entry in a robust series and an even stronger entry into the genre that further solidifies Rawlins as an enduring figure, one who has survived and thrived in a world that sees him as less than the hero he is.
What ensues is the Tilt-a-Whirl of a careening plot, but throughout Blood Grove, Mosley also summons up images of places that linger ... The central mystery in Blood Grove, — as in all the Easy Rawlins books — is as much about the brazen contradictions of American society as it is about what happened in that orange grove one night. But that mystery turns out to be pretty gripping too.
... the plot is so byzantine that it borders on incoherent. And that’s OK ... Both Chandler and Mosley amply reward readers with the beauty of their prose and with the world views of their iconic heroes, men of honor struggling to do right in an unjust world.
... taut and enthralling ... In this latest work, Mosley continues to mine undiscovered dimensions and shades of meaning from Easy’s adventures, reflecting depths of the character that no single, or perhaps even short series of novels would be likely to reveal. ... t its outset, Blood Grove stops and sputters, virtually unable to get rolling, until Easy temporarily trades the Rolls for a seemingly more race- and class-appropriate ’58 Pontiac that allows him to move relatively freely about the city ... Thirty-one years since the publication of Devil in a Blue Dress and Easy Rawlins’ arrival as an indelible presence in American fiction, familiar elements of his ongoing story remain prominent and powerful. Perhaps foremost among them—alongside Mosley’s unflinching and ever-insightful take on what it means to walk through life in America wearing black skin—is his acute portrayal of mid-century Black Los Angeles as a product of the Great Migration, and the institutionalized violence, deprivation, and degradation that necessitated it ... What’s perhaps most remarkable about Blood Grove—as with all Easy Rawlins novels—is Mosley’s undiminished gift for embedding the poignant messaging of the protest novel in hard-boiled crime fiction without ever sacrificing punch or pace ... does its many antecedents proud—not least among them, Easy Rawlins’ formidable first 14.
Walter Mosley easily glides back to his Easy Rawlins series in this strong 15th outing ... Mosley makes 1969 a character itself, showing how the times definitely were a-changing during that volatile year ... A solid mystery, Blood Grove will show long-time readers just how much they have missed Easy.
It’s been four years since Mosley’s last Easy Rawlins novel, whetting appetites for another installment in this long-running and much-loved series ... As always, Easy’s finely calibrated understanding of and commentary on the social and racial climate around him gives the novel its defining texture and power. A new Easy Rawlins novel is always big news in crime-fiction circles, and this fifteenth entry in the series does not disappoint.
Amid all the twists and turns and double-crosses, Easy confronts racism, an enduring feature 'of the America I loved and hated.' Mosley does a fine job highlighting a world of Black survivors who know how difficult their struggle remains, every day of every decade. This marvelous series is as relevant as ever.
Easy’s got an inventory of questions, chiefly how somebody like Craig got referred to him in the first place. Nevertheless, Easy, who served in Europe during World War II, takes the case, partly in solidarity with a fellow vet’s travails. It doesn’t take long for Easy to begin regretting this decision as he finds himself fitfully making his way through a minefield of thieves, crime bosses, prostitutes, goons, and, as always, racist White cops who even after a decade of civil rights laws, race riots, and cultural upheaval can’t bring themselves to acknowledge that a smart, self-possessed Black man like Easy Rawlins, who at this point in the series is pushing 50, deserves to drive around LA in a yellow Rolls Royce that belongs to him. It’s hard to believe Mosley once gave serious thought to killing off his first detective hero. He’s still got plenty of game.