"Raymond Chandler's incomparable private eye is back, pulled by a seductive young heiress into the most difficult and dangerous case of his career"It was one of those summer Tuesday afternoons when you begin to wonder if the earth has stopped revolving. The telephone on my desk had the look of something that knows it's being watched. Traffic trickled by in the street below, and there were a few pedestrians, too, men in hats going nowhere."So begins The Black-Eyed Blonde, a new novel featuring Philip Marlowe--yes, that ...
"Raymond Chandler's incomparable private eye is back, pulled by a seductive young heiress into the most difficult and dangerous case of his career"It was one of those summer Tuesday afternoons when you begin to wonder if the earth has stopped revolving. The telephone on my desk had the look of something that knows it's being watched. Traffic trickled by in the street below, and there were a few pedestrians, too, men in hats going nowhere."So begins The Black-Eyed Blonde, a new novel featuring Philip Marlowe--yes, that Philip Marlowe. Channeling Raymond Chandler, Benjamin Black has brought Marlowe back to life for a new adventure on the mean streets of Bay City, California. It is the early 1950s, Marlowe is as restless and lonely as ever, and business is a little slow. Then a new client is shown in: young, beautiful, and expensively dressed, she wants Marlowe to find her former lover, a man named Nico Peterson. Marlowe sets off on his search, but almost immediately discovers that Peterson's disappearance is merely the first in a series of bewildering events. Soon he is tangling with one of Bay City's richest families and developing a singular appreciation for how far they will go to protect their fortune.Only Benjamin Black, a modern master of the genre, could write a new Philip Marlowe novel that has all the panache and charm of the originals while delivering a story that is as sharp and fresh as today's best crime fiction"--
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Raymond Chandler has such an iconic style; I didn't think it could be imitated. However, I was delighted with this effort. Although the book says Benjamin Black is the author, the real man behind the name is (award-winning) John Banville. I thought he caught the direct Chandler style with lots of one-line zingers.
It is the early 1950's in Bay City, California. A classy lady walks into his office ? the black-eyed blond ? and she has a problem. She wants Marlowe to find her former lover (Nico Peterson). With a few paltry facts, Marlowe starts the chase.
It doesn't take long for Marlowe to realize that the facts don't add up: Clare Cavendish, the black-eyed blond, is too high class a lady to be interested in Nico Peterson romantically. Nico was run over and killed two months before and the body was identified by his sister. Yet, Clare says she saw Nico in San Francisco after his so-called death.
When Marlowe goes to talk with police-friends, they are underwhelmed with the possibility that they have a murder and a missing person on their hands.
I'm not a Chandler-addict; I enjoyed this book. If someone tinkers with Jane Austen's prose, I don't take it kindly; thus, I can understand that lots of Raymond Chandler enthusiasts are not pleased with this new release. This book is actually a sequel to Chandler's book ?The Long Goodbye.?
I love Raymond Chandler's style of hard-boiled detecting with wry insights. I thought Benjamin Black captured the essence very well. 4.5 stars
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