A Little Yellow Dog
An early morning when Easy Rawlins is seduced by a beautiful young teacher and a dead body is found on the school grounds sets in motion a wild and complex plot involving larceny, drug dealing and multiple deaths. Easy had arranged for a new job in an attempt to avoid danger and to provide a steady living for his foster children, but Idabell Turner and her problems (the corpse is that of her brother-in-law) trap him in more murder and mayhem.
With the support of his friend and a backup muscle, Mouse Alexander, Easy tries to get himself off the hook despite the dark suspicions of Sergeant Sanchez, a homicide detective who is convinced that Easy is a murderer and that he is also responsible for a rash of burglaries of school equipment. Easy makes a variety of deals with menacing criminals to deflect suspicion from himself, to rescue friends from dire situations and incidentally to try to find who killed Idabell’s brother-in-law, her husband, and Idabell herself. He also has time to fall in love with a beautiful stewardess named Bonnie Shay.
A final deal backfires. Mouse is fatally wounded as he and Easy try to deliver a shipment of drugs in exchange for a cessation of violence against Easy’s friends. Easy survives, but in the end discovers that Bonnie Shay had killed Idabell’s husband. Turner had tried to force Bonnie into drug running and had raped her. The possibility of further romance between Easy and Bonnie is one of the few bright spots in the grim ending of this gritty and tough novel.
Sources for Further Study
Booklist. XCII, May 1, 1996, p. 1469.
The Christian Science Monitor. July 25, 1996, p. B1.
Kirkus Reviews. LXIV, April 15, 1996, p. 565.
Library Journal. CXXI, June 1, 1996, p. 157.
Los Angeles Times Book Review. July 14, 1996, p. 2.
Modern Maturity. XXXIX, July, 1996, p. 25.
The New York Times Book Review. CI, June 16, 1996, p. 18.
Publishers Weekly. CCXLIII, May 13, 1996, p. 58.
The Wall Street Journal. July 19, 1996, p. A10.
The Washington Post. July 19, 1996, p. B10.