Easy Rawlins, an African-American private detective, awakens from a partial coma at the beginning of Walter Mosley’s Little Green. He somehow survived his car going off a cliff. While most anyone else would take time to get his strength back, Easy believes if he doesn’t get back to work he’ll end up as good as or literally dead. He quickly gets a case from his sketchy friend Mouse who wants Easy to find a young man named Evander who disappeared on the Sunset Strip after taking some acid. Yes, Little Green is set in late sixties L.A. amid all its hippy glory.
Not surprisingly, Easy comes back from near death to find himself in the middle of a case far more complicated than a simple missing person. He runs across various members of the counterculture and a wide array of thugs both of the hippy and non-hippy variety. Once he’s found, Evander’s drug-induced state makes it difficult for him to clearly know what did or did not happen while he was missing. The case in Little Green has plenty of twists and turns, but it’s really the voice Mosley gives to Easy, the added element of him trying to stay alive in a city none too welcoming of an African-American detective, and the mix of the summer of love with a hard boiled crime novel that make this a winner.