Books

The Black-Eyed Blonde

THE BLACK-EYED BLONDE Benjamin Black

THE BLACK-EYED BLONDE Benjamin Black

A-

The Black-Eyed Blonde

Genre: Mystery and Thriller; Author: Benjamin Black; Publisher: Henry Holt & Company

Raymond Chandler could write some mean prose, the kind that hits like a highball and can knock you off your feet even when you’re sitting down. Imitations always run the risk of coming off as a bad parody — like, say, that last sentence. But Black (a.k.a. novelist John Banville) has revived Chandler’s legendary PI Philip Marlowe in a new adventure that reads almost as well as the real thing. A perfume heiress hires the shamus to investigate the disappearance of her lover, and the mystery soon opens up under him like a sinkhole. It’s not just literary ventriloquism: Black manages to nail not only Marlowe’s voice, but his soul. A-

Originally posted March 12 2014 — 12:00 AM EDT

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