Saturday, October 22, 2016
Review of "The Black-Eyed Blonde" by Benjamin Black
In this new addition to the Phillip Marlowe series, a stunning, married, blonde - Clare Cavendish - asks Marlowe to look into the disappearance of her lover, Nico Peterson. Turns out Nico is dead, killed by a hit-and-run driver. But wait! Clare has seen Nico walking around San Francisco after the accident. Why didn't Clare just tell Marlowe that in the first place? Because the devious beauty needs to manipulate and seduce Marlow into helping her. Thus we have the set-up for our noir thriller.
Marlowe sets out to find Nico and soon discovers that the missing man apparently faked his death (with a little help from his friends). Moreover, Mexican thugs are looking for Nico and don't mind a little torture and murder to help them in their quest. As in the original Phillip Marlowe books, the private investigator drinks a lot, is witty, has a smart mouth, and doesn't want to cooperate with the cops. He also has a penchant for getting beat up and almost killed.
Of course Marlowe carries on and solves the case and learns once again that a beautiful woman can harbor a lot of secrets. I thought the book felt like a pretty authentic Phillip Marlowe story and I enjoyed it.
Rating: 3 stars