George V. Reilly

Review: The Black-Eyed Blonde

The Black-Eyed Blonde
Title: The Black-Eyed Blonde
Author: Benjamin Black
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Picador
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 304
Keywords: mystery
Reading period: 12–16 January, 2016

Benjamin Black (the mystery-writing pseudonym of Irish novelist, John Banville) channels Raymond Chandler as he writes a Philip Marlowe novel. Robert Parker wrote a couple of books about a quarter-century ago with the approval of the Chandler estate. Black’s book is also authorized.

The book has all the familiar elements of a Marlowe novel: the femme fatale of the title, the idle rich, ungrateful offspring and murderous staff, cynical cops, the baking heat of California, beatings and booze, Marlowe cracking wise, and the trademark Chan­dleresque similes.

If you like Chandler, you’ll probably like Black’s con­tri­bu­tion to the canon.

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