Monday, May 26, 2014

The Black-Eyed Blonde by Benjamin Black

The previous post is about the character Philip Marlowe by the late author Raymond Chandler.  Mr. Chandler may no longer be with us, but Philip Marlowe lives.  Mr. Chandler's estate authorized the Booker Prize-winning author John Banville, who writes detective fiction under the pen name Benjamin Black, to create another in the Philip Marlowe series, and he has done a great job.

Wise cracking, heavy smoking, hard drinking Marlowe is again on a case full of misdirection, beautiful women, connected people getting away with murder, and much else in a very satisfying sequel in the series.  It's a little later in time from his earlier books but the L.A. area hasn't changed now that they're into the 1950's.  A high class blond with jet black eyes walks into his office with the desire to find a boyfriend who has gone missing.  Sounds a little fishy, but just for the sake of being able to see her again and the fact that he's between other cases, he starts to dive into the details.  As you would expect, the details seem to change over time and persons unknown also are looking for the missing boyfriend as well.  The motives of most of the people you meet are blurred or completely unknown but when revealed make sense.  The story moves right along and is satisfying both as a stand-alone book and a welcome return of a great character done with wit and good writing.  It's a good summer read, or anytime, really.  Enjoy.

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