Raymond Chandler began his writing career at age 45. His muscular, fast-paced style set the standard for American hard-boiled mysteries. He distilled the essence of life in Southern California in the 1940s and 1950s in such novels as Farewell, My Lovely, The Little Sister, The Big Sleep, The High Window, Trouble is My Business, The Lady in the Lake, Red Wind and Playback.
In The Long Goodbye, private eye Philip Marlowe befriends a down-on-his-luck war veteran with the scars to prove it. Then he finds out that Terry Lennox has a very wealthy nymphomaniac wife, whom he's divorced and remarried. She ends up dead. Soon Lennox is on the lam, and the cops and a crazy gangster are after Marlowe.