GONE FISHIN'
By Walter Mosley
Pocket Star Books, 244 pages, 1997, $6.50.

Reviewed by Rick McMahan (5/98)

GONE FISHIN' is Walter Mosley's latest Easy Rawlins story. In this novel, we retro-back to years before the first Easy Rawlins tale, DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS. This book deals with a central event previously alluded to, a dark act binding Easy to his friend Mouse--- the murder of Mouse's stepfather.

At the beginning, Easy is a young man living in Houston and his friend Mouse is about to marry his love Ettamae, but before Mouse does that he wants to reclaim his mother's dowry from his stepfather in rural Texas, so he asks Easy to go along with him.

Walter Mosley has a gift of bringing to life images and evoking a feeling for not just a geographic area but different decades which has made the Easy Rawlins mysteries so appealing. However, I was disappointed in this story. I started the book looking forward to finally reading this tale, this murder of Mouse's stepfather which is first mentioned in DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS. This criminal act which Easy was supposedly a part of, in some way.

Mosley conceives a way to remove Easy from any blame for this murder. In fact, Easy Rawlins is not an active player in this tale, rather he is just an onlooker, a vehicle for the reader's vision. Maybe it's the passiveness of Easy in this book, or maybe it's the fact that Mosley chose to remove Easy from any blame in the murder of Mouse's stepfather, but whichever is the reason, I was left unsatisfied with this tale.

If you're a diehard Easy Rawlins fan, you'll want to read it, just to have that portion of the Easy Rawlins' portrait.


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