Walter Mosley brings Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins back from the dead in “Little Green.” Six years ago, at the end of the series’ 11th novel, “Blonde Faith,” Mosley dispatched him. Much as Conan Doyle tossed Sherlock Holmes over Reichenbach Falls, Mosley drove Easy’s Pontiac off one of the Pacific Coast Highway’s treacherous cliffs. Turns out Mouse, Easy’s faithful friend and sidekick with a hair-trigger temper, literally carried him back from oblivion.
Coming slowly out of a coma, Easy feels as if he’s “crash-landed in a new world.” But he needs to get in gear when Mouse asks him to investigate the disappearance of Evander Noon. Juiced on “Gator’s Blood,” a potent concoction brewed by conjure woman Mama Jo, Easy lurches from high to low to high again as he untangles the path taken by the young man Mouse calls Little Green. The quest takes Easy to hippie-infested Sunset Strip (it’s 1967), and it’s as if his life flashes before him as the investigation connects to characters readers will remember from the 1990 mystery novel that launched Easy Rawlins, “Devil in a Blue Dress.”