Posts Tagged ‘Little Green’

littlegreenIt’s good to see Easy Rawlins back in action in Walter Mosley’s Little Green (Knopf, digital galley via edelweiss), especially since most readers figured he was a goner, driving off a cliff at the end of 2007’s Blonde Faith. But it’s only been two months in Easy’s world of 1967 LA, and although considerably weakened, Easy’s soon on the trail of one Evander “Little Green” Noon at the behest of his best pal, the murderous Mouse.

Fortified by healer Mama Jo’s mysterious brew, “Gator’s Blood,” and helped by old friends and family members, Easy tracks the missing young man to the Sunset Strip and a house full of hippies. But laying hands on Little Green, still coming off an acid trip, is just the beginning of  convoluted connections leading to an insurance firm, an oil company and assorted bad guys not the least bit interested in a summer of love and peace.

cuckooAfter reading Robert Galbraith’s debut The Cuckoo’s Calling (Mulholland/Little, Brown, digital galley via NetGalley), I think Cormoran Strike may someday be as memorable a PI as Easy Rawlins. Strike, a former investigator with the Royal Military Police in Afghanistan (like his pseudonymous creator), looks like a cage fighter, has a prosthetic lower leg and is camped out in his shabby London office after being thrown over (again) by his gorgeous girlfriend. Temp secretary Robin Ellacott is dubious about a week’s employment, but both she and Strike are intrigued when attorney John Bristow offers double rate to prove that his adopted supermodel sister Lula Landry didn’t pitch herself off a balcony. The police have closed the media-circus case as a suicide, but Strike, with Robin’s assistance,  interviews a bevy of sharply etched characters, including Lula’s druggie rocker boyfriend, her favorite fashion designer and her film producer neighbor, in a series of atmospheric set pieces: 

 “Strike had  felt the living woman behind the words she had written to friends; he had heard her voice on a telephone held to his ear; but now, looking down on the last thing she had ever seen in her life, he felt strangely close to her. The truth was slowly coming into focus out of the mass of disconnected detail. What he lacked was proof.”

lastgirlDetective Constable Maeve Kerrigan is the likeable narrator of The Last Girl (St. Martin’s, digital galley), the third in an involving procedural series by Jane Casey. This time, Kerrigan and obnoxious DI Josh Derwent are investigating the grisly killings of famous criminal defense barrister Philip Kennford’s wife Vita and one of their teenage daughters, Laura. Kennford was knocked out in the attack; troubled 15-year-old Lydia, Laura’s twin, is traumatized by her discovery of the bodies. Neither the oddly composed Kennford nor hysterical Laura are good witnesses. 

The detectives sort through Kennford’s clients for a suspect, as well as family members and friends, before turning to Laura’s secret boyfriend. Meanwhile, Lydia finds refuge with her older half-sister, a famous supermodel estranged from their father, in a Sussex farmhouse. Kerrigan’s distracted by her boss’s interaction with drug lords and her live-in boyfriend’s possible infidelity. Then a stalker who terrorized her in the past reappears. But it’s easy to forgive so much melodrama when the pages practically turn themselves.

innocenceMichael Harvey’s Chicago PI Michael Kelly has a cameo in The Innocence Game (Knopf, digital galley via edelweiss), but the detectives are three Northwestern journalism students in a graduate seminar looking at cases of possible wrongful conviction.   New evidence suggests that James Harrison didn’t kill 10-year-old Skylar Wingate 14 years ago, although he went to prison for the crime and was murdered there. But  Ian, Sarah and Jake, following up on anonymous tip, come to believe the real killer is still alive, especially after they discover a missing boy’s body in the woods and the details of his death match Skylar’s.

The cops don’t welcome the students’ interference and appear determined to keep them off the case, which carries a whiff of Windy City corruption.  They also are challenged by their own suspicions of one another’s hidden agendas. Whose byline will go on the story? Or are they writing their own obituaries? The well-orchestrated finale is surprising and creepy.

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