by Walter Mosley, Serpent's Tail 1990, 219 pp.
Opposite Farringdon station, a bit to the left is a small remaindered book shop with a surprisingly interesting selection. (There is porn downstairs -- I have yet to assess how interesting that part of the shop is). I found myself there shortly before Christmas, but came away with only one gift and a lot of very low-priced paperbacks that interested me. This "Easy Rawlins" mystery has rave reviews on the back cover. The protagonist is a black vet living in the LA slums in 1948. He has his own house and is trying to lead a middle-class life, but it is not easy. Fired from his job, he accepts money to track down Daphne Monet, a dangerous white girl in a blue dress. To me, the black voice seemed genuine, but what do I know? I felt compelled to go to Mosley's web site to check the author's skin color! Anyway, it is a good story, and I will read more (preferably at £3 each). Downside is that the characters are not terribly complex, and I did not follow every last detail of the dénouement. But I am betting that the series improves.
The movie made from this book gets quite a plug from Amazon, so I added it to my rental list. I was amused by the Okay film + confession review there. It wasn't me!