The Black Eyed Blonde

A Philip Marlowe Novel

3.48 based on 1820 ratings & 423 reviews on Goodreads.com
Mantle

Publication date: 27.02.2014
ISBN: 9781447236719
Number of pages: 0

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
When I heard that Benjamin Black, aka the Man Booker-winner John Banville, had taken on the job, I felt the Chandler estate had plumped for the right man. Like Chandler, Banville sweats over his sentences. And although the avowed model for Banville/Black's crime fiction is Simenon, there is a great deal of Marlowe in his lonely, quixotic protagonist Quirke . . . The plot is dead right, and the voice is spot on too . . . that this novel is so enjoyable is a testament to the effectiveness of the formula that Chandler laboured so hard to perfect.
Daily Telegraph
The Black-Eyed Blonde includes winks and nods to ardent Chandler fans, but the book will work as first-rate noir for anyone . . . It's remarkable how fresh this book feels while still hewing close to the material on which it's based. The ill-fated Robert B. Parker experiment with Marlowe, "Poodle Springs," did entrust the Chandler legacy to a pro, but not the right one. Now to find a writer whose affinity for the genre has been so well established? And who seemed to be channeling Chandler even before he was asked to, while still maintaining a very identifiable, charismatic voice of his own? It's almost too good to be true.
New York Times