Wealthy dead American. Beautiful young widow. This case has PI Philip Marlowe’s name written all over it. Is it enough to bring him back for one last adventure?
The year is 1988. The place, Baja California. Private Investigator Philip Marlowe is living out his retirement sipping margaritas and playing cards when in saunter two men dressed like undertakers with a case that has his name written all over it.
His mission is to investigate Donald Zinn – supposedly drowned off his yacht, leaving a much younger and now very rich wife. Marlowe’s speciality. But is Zinn actually alive? And are the pair living off the spoils?
'Osborne and Chandler are a perfect match' William Boyd
Discover the rest of the inimitable Philip Marlowe series – nine classic Chandler adventures, from The Big Sleep to The Long Goodbye, available now in paperback and ebook from Penguin Books.
Set in 1988, this successful attempt to channel the spirit of Raymond Chandler from Osborne (Beautiful Animals) finds 72-year-old Philip Marlowe living a quiet life in Baja California "after a low near-decade of sloth and decay and Ronald Reagan." One day, two representatives of the Pacific Mutual insurance company call on Marlowe. Donald Zinn, a developer and a Pacific Mutual client, has drowned, apparently accidentally, off the coast of the Mexican state of Michoac n. The company is hoping that it can reduce its financial exposure if Marlowe finds evidence that Zinn, who was heavily in debt, took his own life or was involved in criminal activities. The PI agrees to look into the matter, starting with a visit to the resort that Zinn and his widow had been running. While the plot follows familiar paths, Osborne has mastered Chandler's gift for metaphor (the Pacific Life reps "bared the teeth of friendly hyenas who have done their killing for the day") and deepens Marlowe's psyche as he responds to "a sad summons from the depths of own wasted past." This is the perfect companion volume to The Annotated Big Sleep (reviewed on p. 46).