White Butterfly Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of White Butterfly

Three black party girls have been tortured and murdered, but no one seems to care until a white girl is also murdered. Then the police ask Easy Rawlins for help. They feel he would be more likely to get cooperation in the ghetto than they would.
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   Easy refuses at first, but changes his mind when they threaten to start arresting people if he doesn't help. He discovers that one of the black women was last seen with a crazy black man from Oakland, and he thinks that he has his man. With his sidekick, Mouse he pursues the killer, but then he begins to suspect that the white girl may not have been killed by the same man.
   He discovers that despite the fact that she came from a 'good' family, she was living like a tramp and also that she was pregnant. Although the police are not interested, Rawlins continues to pursue the matter to find out what really happened to the girl.

The review of this Book prepared by Jack Goodstein

Chapter Analysis of White Butterfly

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 30%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   Dry-cynical How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1930's-1950's What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   40% Special suspect?    -   relative Murder of certain profession?    -   prostitutes/stripper/porn Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   character killed during/after sexing    -   "All in the family" murder    -   Killer purposely leaves clues Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   minority/women/gay rights Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   private investigator Ethnicity/Race    -   Black


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   California Misc setting    -   prison

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   very gorey references to deaths/dead bodies and torture Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript. of breasts    -   rape (yeech!) Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Walter Mosley Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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