I had begun reading Richard Wright's Native Son
, and decided it was too depressing and that I needed a respite. Interesting to pick this book up. It also deals with the corrosive effects that racism has on both the black and white communities.
This book is set during the time of the LA riots in the summer of 1965 (I'd thought the riots were 1966, which, I guess, shows how well I remembered them). Anyway, the protagonist is an African American who doesn't trust the white community in the least. Someone, perhaps a white man, had murdered a black woman and the cops could care less. They didn't even want to admit there had been a murder, lest the riots continue. So Easy Rawlins works on the problem until he comes to a solution.
I had read another "Easy Rawlins" book once before, but hadn't remembered it to have quite so much material on the issues of racism. I had remembered it as showing life through the lens of an African American, but not as showing how corrosively white racism poisoned the lives of both blacks and whites. It's interesting that some half-century removed from the 1965 race riots, we, as a society, still use racism as a wedge to separate people for political, i.e. pecuniary, gain.