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The Black Eyed Blonde

A Philip Marlowe Novel

3.48 based on 1881 ratings & 434 reviews on Goodreads.com

Synopsis

Maybe it was time I forgot about Nico Peterson, and his sister, and the Cahuilla Club, and Clare Cavendish. Clare? The rest would be easy to put out of my mind, but not the black-eyed blonde . . .

It is the early 1950s. In Los Angeles, Private Detective Philip Marlowe is as restless and lonely as ever, and business is a little slow. Then a new client arrives: young, beautiful, and expensively dressed, Clare Cavendish wants Marlowe to find her former lover, a man named Nico Peterson.

Soon Marlowe will find himself not only under the spell of the Black-Eyed Blonde; but tangling with one of Bay City’s richest families – and developing a singular appreciation for how far they will go to protect their fortune . . .

In this gripping and deeply evocative crime novel, Benjamin Black returns us to the dark, mesmerising world of Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye and his singular detective Philip Marlowe; one of the most iconic and enduringly popular detectives in crime fiction.

In the media

You might well be suspicious of the current trend for posthumous piggy-backing and I wouldn't blame you. But this one is the real deal, as sweet and bitter as the perfectly mixed gimlet . . . It takes a brilliant writer to make such an unreal character real: Chandler was and Banville is. It's a perfect match . . . Perhaps Chandler could have written a better Marlowe novel, but I can't think of anyone else who could.
Scotland on Sunday
John Banville's convincing imitation of Raymond Chandler's literary detective brings to mind an older Humphrey Bogart . . . The plot, though new, follows the master's hand . . . The Irish understudy takes on Chandler's habits convincingly . . .What Banville, through Black, brings to Chandler is perhaps an enhanced literary sensibility. His Marlowe is alert to nuances of language.
Guardian
Banville channeling Chandler is irresistible-a double whammy of a mystery. Hard to think anyone could add to Chandler with profitable results. But Banville most definitely gets it done.
Richard Ford