Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Rose Gold by Walter Mosley
In his thirteenth Easy Rawlins novel, Mosley continues what some critics consider his social history of race relations in Los Angeles in the years after World War II. Rose Gold, set during the 1967 "Summer of Love" is Mosley's riff on the Patty Hearst/Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapping that captured America's horrified fascination in that time and place.
Rose Gold --- Rosemary Goldsmith --- is the disaffected daughter of a munitions manufacturer making a fortune out of the Vietnam War, supposedly kidnapped by a black nationalist calling himself Uhuru Nolice, the leader of revolutionary group calling itself Scorched Earth. The LAPD wants Easy Rawlins to rescue Rosemary and find Uhuru Nolice (a young black ex-boxer, Robert Mantle, with a chameleon personality).
Rawlins holds his nose and takes the job because he needs the money to pay his bills and to fund his adopted daughter's education at an elite private school. But the more he finds out about the ex-boxer, Robert Mantle, and about Rosemary Goldsmith's penchant for radical causes, the more he smells the deadly stink of police corruption emanating from the case. Is Rose Gold a victim or a willing accomplice in a plot to extort money from her father to fund further mayhem? Is Bob Mantle a radical instigator or is he being set up with a "shoot on sight" order by bent cops in the highest echelons of the LAPD?
Mosley's latest meditation on the Black American experience is fortuitously timed to remind us that our current troubles have deep roots. As Ivy Pochada observes in her review of Rose Gold for the Los Angeles Times, "Mosley didn't write "Rose Gold" as a parable of recent events in Ferguson, Mo., and beyond. He wrote it as an evocative tale of race relations in the late 1960s. If we recognize it as entirely too familiar, I do not think Easy Rawlins would be suprised."
Click HERE to read Pochada/s full review.
Click HERE to read a review from ABC News.
Click HERE to read a review on the Read Me Deadly Blog.