"A blonde with black eyes - that's not a combination you get very often. I tried not to look at her legs. Obviously the god of Tuesday afternoons had decided I deserved a lift"
John Banville, writing under a pseudonym gives us Raymond Chandler redux with this entertaining and new addition to the noir canon. Philip Marlowe has been re heated and is ready to take on the world - or the dodgy parts of the world that his stunning new client is mixed up in, at any rate.
This is just the sort of thing that is a guilty pleasure and Banville's writing is evocative and engaging. In a world where cops are bent, dames are deceptive and private clubs couch illegal drug lords, its hard to know what will happen next.
Marlowe is dry, damaged and just keeps you firmly engaged with the, at times, and possibly necessarily, convoluted plot.
Who is Nico Petersen and why is Claire Cavendish seeking him out? It might take a few pages, but dive in, you'll find out pretty quickly that this is a book crying out for a big scale movies adaptation.
5 out of 5 play it again Sam