Why did I love this book?
Despite writing mid last century, I see Raymond Chandler as the first really modern crime writer. He once famously commented “… down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid.” and Philip Marlowe admirably fulfills these qualities. Gritty problems, witty dialogue, glamorous but unstable women and men without scruples people his books in gripping prose. Read The Big Sleep to dive with Philip Marlowe into an underworld of corruption, danger, and crime. Thank goodness Marlowe is on our side! I read Chandler long before my character David Hidalgo appeared in my imagination and certainly wasn’t aware of any influence but it turns out Hidalgo shares many of Marlowe’s characteristics despite not being a detective himself. So thank you Raymond Chandler!