Walter Mosley’s novel, Devil in a Blue Dress, with protagonist Easy Rawlins was published in June 1990. It was the basis for the 1995 movie starting Denzel Washington.
I liked the book enough to watch the movie, and promptly liked the movie even better. Movies have a tendency to simplify the plot, or else the visual effects clarify the story line for me. Either way, the hard-boiled action of Mosley’s murder mystery entertained me.
Los Angeles, 1948, before the Civil Rights Movement, is the setting. It is speakeasies and Blatz beer. Protagonist Easy (Ezekiel) Rawlins is down on his luck after getting fired from his job and he is willing to do most anything to come up with the monthly mortgage payment on his house, the only thing he is proud of owning.
Easy’s not a boozing, lost soul or a super hero. When the novel came out in 1990, he represented a new type of noir genre main character. Readers may not relate to him directly, but we can understand his motivation to hold onto his property, and his pride. For anyone who has ever been in need of a fast buck, agreeing to find a white woman who has a "predilection for pigs' feet and dark meat" is understandable, knowing that the quick job and fast $100.00 payoff will keep a dream as a home owner alive.
In this murder mystery, even when Easy calls on his lifelong buddy, Mouse, to help him when things start to slip sideways seems like a reasonable decision. After all, what could go wrong?
It isn't "Friday the 13th", but is it possible that 4/4/14 is a good sign?