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Little Scarlet by Walter Mosley
Little Scarlet is Walter Mosley's eighth Easy Rawlins novel, and is set during and after the 1965 Watts riots in Los Angeles. During the riots, a white man was being beaten by a black mob until he was rescued by a black woman with red hair, Little Scarlet. When she's found murdered a few days later, the unknown white man is the prime suspect. The LAPD comes to Easy, the unofficial private eye, to help find out who the man was. They're afraid to venture into Watts to find out and figure that Easy can move among the black community better than they can. Easy discovers who the man is, but has doubts of the man's guilt. His investigation leads to something even more unseemly. Walter Mosley continues to explore the interaction between the races and further develop the character of Easy Rawlins, a flawed and complicated man who tries to do the right thing. Little Scarlet has received many positive reviews with the USA Today saying, "Little Scarlet works so well because it operates on two distinct levels: as a compelling cat-and-mouse game and as a dead-eyed examination of the injustices inherent in racism."