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av Walter Mosley

Serier: Easy Rawlins (3)

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8691224,428 (3.81)56
The police don't show up on Easy Rawlins's doorstep until the third girl dies. It's Los Angeles, 1956, and it takes more than one murdered black girl before the cops get interested. Now they need Easy. As he says: "I was worth a precinct full of detectives when the cops needed the word in the ghetto." But Easy turns them down. He's married now, a father -- and his detective days are over. Then a white college coed dies the same brutal death, and the cops put the heat on Easy: If he doesn't help, his best friend is headed for jail. So Easy's back, walking the midnight streets of Watts and the darker, twisted avenues of a cunning killer's mind....… (mer)
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Though Devil in a Blue Dress and A Red Death are great reads which stand apart from other books in the genre, White Butterfly might be the finest of the early stories featuring Easy Rawlins, for my money. Like Ross Macdonald, Walter Mosley weaves a tapestry of pain and heartache and human frailty into White Butterfly. Along the way we get to revisit the friendship of Mouse and Easy, and again Mosley puts a spotlight on the degrees of right and wrong.

Black girls are getting murdered at an alarming rate in 1956 Los Angeles, yet only when a white girl joins their ranks do the police ask for Easy's help. Helping the L.A.P.D. is the last thing Easy wants or needs at that particular moment. He has a woman named Regina and a child in his life now. Mosley again shows the complexity of the world Easy inhabits as a black man in post-war Los Angeles. That complexity extends to Easy himself. He cannot open up fully to Regina, keeping from her the fact that he owns property. Nor does he disclose to her the source of his income.

Mosley has written Easy as a good but deeply flawed man. Or in other words, all good men. Easy wrestles with his own life and motives as much as he does with the cops and bad guys. We as readers completely understand why Easy is more comfortable with the amoral Mouse than with the rest of society because of the deftly painted landscape of such by Mosley. The reader does not have to be black to appreciate the complex moral landscape Mosley paints of Easy's world. Mosley makes us feel Easy's personal loss at the end of this book, and it stays with us longer than the mystery.

If Raymond Chandler wrote like a slumming angel, then Mosley writes like an angel of the slums. He doesn't try to make us completely understand Easy's world, he simply allows the reader to ride along with Easy as he attempts to make sense of it all himself. Through Easy's struggle we learn about pain and sorrow and regret, which is to say we learn about life. A great read that, like all great books in the genre, is more than the sum of its parts. ( )
  Matt_Ransom | Oct 6, 2023 |
La vida de Easy Rawlins parece haberse vuelto, por fin, menos agitada. Está casado con una mujer a la que ama, tiene una hija de pocos meses y se ha convertido en un padre modelo y en un marido devoto; sus negocios inmobiliarios continúan viento en popa, y es el dueño, de varias casas de apartamentos y unos terrenos muy codiciados por un grupo de especuladores.
Pero Easy es negro, y la vida de los negros jamás está a salvo de agitaciones, turbulencias, y paseos por el filo de la navaja. Y en el barrio donde vive, ha habido varios asesinatos de mujeres de vida alegre, y todos llevan la marca de un único y perverso asesino. Las autoridades y los medios no han mostrado demasiado interés por los crímenes, hasta que la muerta es una estudiante universitaria blanca que se encontraba en el lugar equivocado en el momento menos oportuno. ¿O tal vez no era así, y los secretos de la vida de la enigmática «mariposa blanca» serán el laberinto que Easy Rawlins deberá desandar hasta descubrir la identidad del asesino, y el por qué de las muertes?
  Natt90 | Dec 13, 2022 |
reaparece Easy, quiere tener una vida normal y burguesa, pero no puede. la policía le pide ayuda ya que estan matando prostitutas negras, pero hasta que matan una chica blanca no pasa nada. ( )
  gneoflavio | Dec 28, 2021 |
Ezekiel (Easy) Rawlins is now married to Regina Riles and has two children: a baby girl, Etna, and an adopted son, Jesus Peña. It's 1956 and Easy has kept the details of his real estate business and his "confidential" work secret from his wife. The secrecy is beginning to fester in the marriage.
White Butterfly opens when Detective Quinten Naylor asks Easy to help him at the scene of a murdered girl – the third one. When a fourth girl, this one white, Robin Garnett, is found similarly murdered, the entire LAPD is stirred even involving a representative from the governor. This unfairness angers Rawlins and he wants no part of the investigation when asked by Quinten Naylor, the only black detective on the force. Easy is forced into the investigation when Naylor threatens to take in Easy's friend Raymond (Mouse) Alexander.
Rawlins hunts down the serial murderer, J.T. Saunders and witnesses him being coldly killed by an undercover cop. Easy determines that Saunders could not have killed Garnett, who he has discovered is also named Cyndi Starr, and is known on stage as the White Butterfly. He finds out that she has given birth to a black baby, Feather. He also deduces that it was her father who killed Robin.
The murders are solved but along the way Easy has lost his wife and his daughter, Edna, to his former friend, Dupree Bouchard, and he has acquired another daughter when he takes in baby Feather.
  RonWelton | Mar 31, 2021 |
A decade or so ago, while on vacation, I found that my spouse had loaded a Walter Mosley book into our box of books and enjoyed it quite a lot. I have since read many other Mosley books on vacation. I have a feeling that the ones I subsequently read that involved Easy Rawlins were books further along in the line of the series. That is, I might have begun around book 6 or 7, and read on from there. So, last summer, I thought to begin at the beginning, so to speak and put this book (the third in the series) and two others on hold. Well, at the time, it seems, the library didn't actually have a licence to lend those books. So, the books I put on hold back on 1 August 2017, didn't actually become available until the following May. White Butterfly is the first of the three books I'd waited some nine months to read. It is the third in the Easy Rawlins' series, but the earliest one available at the time.

It seems to me, in reading this, that Easy had had a few rough edges smoothed off by the time he showed up in later novels. I don't know if this was by intent, or if it just happened. I didn't so much like the Easy in this book as I came to like him in subsequent books.

Easy is living with his wife, Regina, their baby, Edna, and the young boy, Jesus or "Juice", whom Easy had picked up along the way in one of his earlier adventures. Perhaps it's just that Easy is wrapped up in his troubles that he treats Regina so badly. He doesn't so much resort to physical violence (well, there is a scene of spousal rape), more he treats her as an afterthought. I didn't much like that. He also drank way too much and womanized on the side way too much, neither of which I remembered as being features of his later life. I'd always remembered Easy as a decent guy who could get rough when necessary. Given that I'm a repressed, elderly Calvinist, I wasn't happy with Easy's not-so-nice behavior in this book.

I do realize that Easy had some serious life and death problems. It seems there was a serial killer raping, mutilating and then murdering women in LA. But the cops didn't much care until one of the victims turned out to be a white girl who was a coed at UCLA and whose father was rich and influential. The cops come to Easy for some help, because Easy has some contacts in the black community that white cops in 1956 would never have.

So Easy agrees, reluctantly, to investigate a bit. Perhaps if he can find clues to the murderer of the black women, he'll be able to help finger the guy who appears also to have been the murderer of the white woman. One thing Easy discovers is that the young, white woman worked in some rather seamy joints as a stripper, under the stage name, White Butterfly. Next thing you know, the cops are trying to finger Easy for the murders. So, he has to find a way out and so forth. It was a pretty interesting book, with lots of observations about racism, but as I said, Easy was rather more of an asshole in this book than in any of the others I've read. So, I'll put it at the bottom of my list of Easy Rawlins' novels. Which still doesn't mean that it is not a GoodRead.

( )
  lgpiper | Jun 21, 2019 |
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For the stories he keeps on telling, I dedicate this book to Leroy Mosley.
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"Easy Rawlins!" someone called.
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The police don't show up on Easy Rawlins's doorstep until the third girl dies. It's Los Angeles, 1956, and it takes more than one murdered black girl before the cops get interested. Now they need Easy. As he says: "I was worth a precinct full of detectives when the cops needed the word in the ghetto." But Easy turns them down. He's married now, a father -- and his detective days are over. Then a white college coed dies the same brutal death, and the cops put the heat on Easy: If he doesn't help, his best friend is headed for jail. So Easy's back, walking the midnight streets of Watts and the darker, twisted avenues of a cunning killer's mind....

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