Bad Boy Brawly Brown (Easy Rawlins Series #7)

Bad Boy Brawly Brown (Easy Rawlins Series #7)

by Walter Mosley


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Easy Rawlins is out of the investigation business and as far away from crime as a black man can be in 1960s Los Angeles. But living around desperate men means life gets complicated sometimes. When an old friend gets in enough trouble to ask for Easy's help, he finds he can't refuse.
Young Brawly Brown has traded in his family for The Clan of the First Men, a group rejecting white leadership, history, and laws—and they're dangerous. Brown's mom, Alva, needs to know her baby's okay, and Easy promises to find him. His first day on the case Easy gets harassed by the cops and comes face to face with a corpse. Before he knows it he is on a short list of murder suspects and in the middle of a frenzied police raid on a Clan of the First Men rally. The only thing he discovers about Brawly Brown is that he's the kind of trouble most folks try to avoid. It takes everything Easy has just to stay alive as he explores a world filled with promises, betrayals, and predators like he never imagined.
BAD BOY BRAWLY BROWN is the masterful crime novel that Walter Mosley's legions of fans have been waiting for. Written with the voice and vision that have made Walter Mosley one of the most important writers in America, this book marks the return of a master at the top of his form.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446198226
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 08/06/2008
Series: Easy Rawlins Series , #7
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 457,165
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Walter Mosley is the author of the acclaimed Easy Rawlins and Fearless Jones series of mysteries, as well as numerous other works of fiction and nonfiction. He has won the Anisfield-Wolf award, a Grammy Award, and in 2004 received a PEN USA lifetime achievement award. He was born in Los Angeles and lives in New York.


New York, New York

Date of Birth:

January 12, 1952

Place of Birth:

Los Angeles, California


B.A., Johnson State College

Read an Excerpt


MOUSE IS DEAD. Those words had gone through my mind every morning for three months. Mouse is dead because of me.

When I sat up, Bonnie rolled her shoulder and sighed in her sleep. The sky through our bedroom window was just beginning to brighten.

The image of Raymond, his eyes open and unseeing, lying stockstill on EttaMae's front lawn, was still in my mind. I lurched out of bed and stumbled to the bathroom. My feet hurt every morning, too, as if I had spent all night walking, searching for EttaMae, to ask her where she'd taken Ray after carrying him out of the hospital.

So he was still alive? I asked a nurse who had been on duty that evening. No, she said flatly. His pulse was gone. The head nurse had just called the doctor to pronounce him dead when that crazy woman hit Arnold in the head with a suture tray and took Mr. Alexander's body over her shoulder.

I wandered into the living room and pulled the sash to open the drapes. Red sunlight glinted through the ragged palms at the end of our block. I had never wept over Raymond's demise, but that tattered light reflected a pain deep in my mind.

IT TOOK ME over half an hour to get dressed. No two socks matched and every shirt seemed to be the wrong color. While I was tying my shoes Bonnie woke up.

"What are you doing, Easy?" she asked. She had been born in British Guyana but her father was from Martinique, so there was the music of the French language in her English accent. "Gettin' dressed," I said. "Where are you going?"

"Where you think I'ma be goin' at this time'a day? To work." I was feeling mean because of that red light in the far-off sky. "But it's Saturday, baby." "What?"

Bonnie climbed out of the bed and hugged me. Her naked skin was firm and warm.

I pulled away from her. "You want some breakfast?" I asked. "Maybe a little later," she said. "I didn't get in from Idlewild until two this morning. And I have to go back out again today." "Then you go to bed," I said. "You sure? I mean... did you need to talk?" "Naw. Nuthin's wrong. Just stupid is all. Thinkin' Saturday's a workday. Damn."

"Are you going to be okay?" she asked. "Yeah. Sure I am." Bonnie had a fine figure. And she was not ashamed to be seen naked. Looking at her pulling on those covers reminded me of why I fell for her. If I hadn't been so sad, I would have followed her back under those blankets.

FEATHER'S LITTLE YELLOW DOG, Frenchie, was hiding somewhere, snarling at me while I made sausages and eggs. He was the love of my little girl's life, so I accepted his hatred. He blamed me for the death of Idabell Turner, his first owner; I blamed myself for the death of my best friend.

I WAS SITTING at breakfast, smoking a Chesterfield and wondering if EttaMae had moved back down to Houston. I still had friends down there in the Fifth Ward. Maybe if I wrote to Lenora Circel and just dropped a line about Etta — say hi to Etta for me or give Etta my love. Then when she wrote back I might learn something. "Hi, Dad."

My hand twitched, flicking two inches of cigarette ash on the eggs. Jesus was standing there in front of me. "I told you not to sneak up on me like that, boy." "I said hi," he explained.

The eggs were ruined but I wasn't hungry. And I couldn't stay mad at Jesus, anyway. I might have taken him in when he was a child, but the truth was that he had adopted me. Jesus worked hard at making our home run smoothly, and his love for me was stronger than blood.

"What you doin' today?" I asked him. "Nuthin'. Messin' around." "Sit down," I said.

Jesus didn't move the chair as he sat, because there was enough room for him to slide in under the table. He never wasted a movement — or a word. "I wanna drop out of high school," he said. "Say what?"

His dark eyes stared into mine. He had the smooth, eggshellbrown skin and the straight black hair of people who had lived in the Southwest for thousands of years. "It's only a year and a half till you graduate," I said. "A diploma will help you get a job. And if you keep up with track, you could get a scholarship to UCLA."

He looked down at my hands. "Why?" I asked. "I don't know," he said. "I just don't wanna be there. I don't wanna be there all the time." "You think I like goin' to work?" "You like it enough," he said. " 'Cause if you didn't like it, you'd quit."

I could see that he'd made up his mind, that he'd thought about this decision for a long time. He probably had the papers for me to sign under his bed.

I was about to tell him no, that he'd have to stick out the year at least. But then the phone rang. It was a loud ringer, especially at sixthirty in the morning.

While I limped to the counter Jesus left on silent bare feet.

"Hello?" "Easy?" It was a man's voice. "John? Is that you?"

"I'm in trouble and I need you to do me a favor," John said all in a rush. He'd been practicing just like Jesus. My heart quickened. The little yellow dog stuck his nose out from under the kitchen cabinet.

I don't know if it was an old friend's voice or the worry in his tone that got to me. But all of a sudden I wasn't miserable or sad. "What you need, John?"

"Why'ont you come over to the lots, Easy? I wanna look you in the eye when I tell ya what we want." "Oh," I said, thinking about we and the fact that whatever John had to say was too serious to be discussed over the phone. "Sure. As soon as I can make it."

I hung up with a giddy feeling running around my gut. I could feel the grin on my lips. "Who was that?" Bonnie asked. She was standing at the door to our bedroom, half wrapped in a terry-cloth robe. She was more beautiful than any man could possibly deserve.

"John." "The bartender?" "Do you have to leave today?" I asked. "Sorry. But after this trip I'll have a whole week off." "I can't wait that long," I said. I gathered her up in my arms and carried her back into the bedroom. "Easy, what are you doing?" I tossed her on the bed and then closed the door to the kitchen. I took off my pants and stood over her.

"Easy, what's got into you?"

The look on my face was answer enough for any arguments she might have had about the children or her need for sleep.

I couldn't have explained my sudden passion. All I knew was the smell of that woman, her taste and texture on my skin and tongue, was something I had never known before in my life. It was as if I discovered sex for the first time that morning.

Copyright © 2002 by Walter Mosley

Table of Contents

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Bad Boy Brawly Brown (Easy Rawlins Series #7) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
jrtanworth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Easy Rawlins is back, this time without without the help of his dangerous friend Mouse. Great sixties atmosphere, an intricate but believable plot, a surprising but satisfactory resolution of Easy's debt of friendship. I found this one of the best mysteries I've read in a while. I'm surprised the ratings aren't higher.
frank_oconnor on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Somewhat unmemorable, as I barely remember any of it. It seemed good enough at the time though, if a little uneven in tone, lurching between politcial and domestic naratives without ever really fusing the two.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
glauver More than 1 year ago
It has been about 10 years since I read an Easy Rawlins novel. Mosley is a fine stylist and the story is absorbing. Unfortunately, the final resolution seems improbable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love walter mosley's work but was so disapointed n BBBB. The characters were flat and didn't lend themselves to getting the reader interested in their plight. I couldn't have cared if Brawley was ever found or why he was missing because Mosely didn't really give me a reason to care. I struggled through this book and was glad to turn the last page. Suggession: Don't write anymore Easy Rawlin's Mysteries if Mouse ain't in 'em.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Truely, disappointed with the ending! Mr. Mosley seemed rushed to finish the book. Many of the characters seemed to be under developed. This was my first read by Walter Mosley and I truly was expecting more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Like everyone else, I missed Mouse just as much as Easy did in this novel. I was so excited to read it when I purchased it. The only thing that kept my attention was the hope that something would happen. Hardly any action and I was not emotionally invested in the characters like in his "Black Betty". I was really disappointed in the book. Its a page turner if you mean you turn the page waiting in eager anticipation for some action to occur but it never happens this time around.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have so missed Mr. Rawlins -- he is so smooth and moves through his world with such ease. The plot was not one of Mosely's best but it has always been his characters that I so love that I just couldn't put this book down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great story but I really wished that Mouse was still alive. And the narrator..borrrring. I had gotten used to Paul Winfield's voice in the character.
Guest More than 1 year ago
W/o mouse in the story.Its just tag-a- long story.Don't get me wrong,its a good story if your a new commer.I would like to see a story on mouse.I'm only a truckdriver who listens to books on tapes.Women/men truckdriver love mouse.And i can tell you something else.The guy who's reading the book to ya.Makes the differents big time.This new guy ain't make'n the grade.D-
Guest More than 1 year ago
Walter is back in the saddle again. Mouse is gone, but Easy carries the day.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a great mystery. Do yourself a favor and read this fast moving page turner.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1964 Compton, California, former fixer Easy Rawlins struggles with the death of his pal Mouse. Though he knows Mouse lived a dangerous life, Easy blames himself for his buddy being fatally shot, but he wonders if the medicos were wrong and his old Houston friend somehow survived, as there was no closure. In spite of his deep feelings of guilt, with two youngsters to nurture and a girlfriend to love, Easy goes straight.

Another Houston friend John asks Easy for a favor. His live in girl friend Alva Torres worries about her twenty-three year old son (from a previous marriage) hanging with the Urban Revolutionary Party. She wants Easy to find and talk to Brawly before he gets in too deep with these radicals. Unable to say no, Easy begins a search with Mouse in his subconscious guiding him through the urban jungle where even the law is an enemy to a black man.

The return of Easy, cleverly accompanied by Mouse at least in the hero¿s mind, is time for rejoicing for those who enjoy an entertaining yet insightful ¿professional¿ amateur sleuth historical mysteries. Easy remains an interesting character struggling with his loss and the need to take care of his two charges while helping a friend within a strong entry that shines a light on Los Angeles during the Civil Rights era. New readers will want to obtain Easy¿s previous appearances (DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS and A LITTLE YELLOW DOG) as Walter Mosley shows why he is one of the best.

Harriet Klausner