I am about half-way through this book, and I love the dark atmosphere. Easy (the lead character) is a very flawed, but true to himself kind of character that makes you root for him. I will give a better review when I am done, but so far, I am sad that I missed out on this author. I will probably go back and read the other books that precede this one when I am done. UPDATE: I just finished this book during lunch at work. I am quite glad I read it. The issues of racism and abuse are very prevalent in this book, and seem to influence almost every interaction Easy has with other characters. I would go so far as to say that Easy's character actually seems to persevarate on the issue. This is the 1940's though, and I imagine this would be a fairly justified world view for a young man during that time period.One of the most (to me) intriguing characters in the book is Easy's friend "Mouse". My favorite because at first he seems like such a flaming sociopath, then flips things around when you least expect it, and takes care of business for his friend. He also plays a role in the surprise ending that really left me a bit stunned. Overall, 3.5 stars.