four-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
32-Jan-Feb-2008
user_rating: 
0

An Easy Rawlins Novel

A-Blonde FaithLA detective Easy Rawlins debuted in Devil in a Blue Dress (1990) as a returning World War II soldier; nine books later, it's 1967, and the issues that plagued both Easy and LA during the Watts riots have only become more complex. Now, a middle-aged Easy must deal with the loss of his love, Bonnie, to an African prince; the disappearance of his two old friends, Raymond "Mouse" Alexander (wanted for murder) and Christmas Black (a former Green Beret wanted by the U.S. Army); the adopted Vietnamese daughter Christmas left on his doorstep; and, finally, a blonde woman whose life may be in danger.
Little, Brown. 320 pages. $25.99. ISBN: 0316734594

Atlanta Jrnl-Constitution 4 of 5 Stars
"Call it the Oprah-sizing of the detective novel, but Easy Rawlins, in his sneaky way, has slowly become a character whom we care about enormously, much more than whether he solves the case in Blonde Faith." Phil Kloer

Boston Globe 4 of 5 Stars
"Throughout his Rawlins mysteries, Mosley has remained true to the evergreen tenets of detective fiction-guns blaze, bodies fall, blood flows. ... Yet this series offers more than shadows and suspects, and Blonde Faith in particular is infused with melancholy and middle-age regret." RenÃ(c)e Graham

Entertainment Weekly 4 of 5 Stars
"Mosley is as adept at drawing the curves of a hooker as name-checking Hegel or Holden Caulfield, again setting the bar for literary genre fiction." Fred McKindra

Los Angeles Times 3.5 of 5 Stars
"Although Blonde Faith does not have the force of Little Scarlet, perhaps the greatest novel in the series, it is indispensable as a portrait of this 'unwilling detective.' . . . As surely as he found material success in Los Angeles, Easy has lost his soul. It's a dangerous turn, but in Blonde Faith Mosley seems to suggest that life's greatest mystery is hidden inside us rather than on the city's streets." Thomas Curwen

South FL Sun-Sentinel 3.5 of 5 Stars
"Easy thinks about race a lot in Blonde Faith, which showcases Mosley's affinity for plotting, his insight into the times and his understanding of his characters. ... Blonde Faith doesn't disappoint and because of a new twist in Easy's life, the novel may become Mosley's most controversial." Oline H. Cogdill

Critical Summary

For 17 years, readers have witnessed Easy Rawlins's evolution into a tough-minded, haunted detective navigating through a racially turbulent LA. A few critics surmise that Blonde Faith, the tenth installment, may be the last of the series-and Easy certainly ruminates more on atonement and acceptance of life than in any other of the novels. Filled with melancholy, regret, and angst that may relate to finally understanding that his fate lies in his hands, Easy seemed tired to a few critics (and, consequently, a few chapters felt repetitive). Still, if Blonde Faith does not quite match Little Scarlet ( 4 of 5 Stars Selection Sept/Oct 2004), one of the best of the series, and if it is the coda to Mosley's chronicle of race relations between the 1940s and the 1960s, it is a fine end to a well-told story.