In the summer of 1948, Easy Rawlins is recently laid off from his job at Champion Aircraft, and needs money urgently to pay his mortgage. Easy’s friend Joppy, who runs a bar, introduces him to a white man named DeWitt Albright. Albright is looking for someone to help him find a missing white woman, Daphne Monet, assumed to be hiding somewhere in the African American community; he also learns she is the girlfriend of wealthy Todd Carter, who was the favorite in the Los Angeles mayoral race before dropping out. Albright, who says Carter dropped out because he couldn’t find Daphne, offers Rawlins $100 ($ today) to take the job. Easy accepts but is immediately suspicious. Daphne is known to spend time in the juke joints along Central Avenue (Los Angeles) and Easy begins his search at an illegal club on 89th and Central.