The High Window by Raymond Chandler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Damn, what fine prose.
Sometimes funny, mostly wry and sarcastic, this noir really ought to be on the top of any fan list. So much of our modern UF series takes all its cue from books like this.
The racism angle is hardly at play here, considering that this came out in 1942, instead focusing on the murder and mystery and the missing rare coin.
Why read it? Because of the damn prose. It's sharp, light, gritty, and you have this feeling like it might, at any point, sucker-punch you or cover you with kisses. Or in this case, make you queasy with the kind of learned helplessness that comes with victims of long abuse.
Frankly, I would have been perfectly a-OK if Marlowe did a bit of murder, but what really surprised me was the kind of subtlety and decision that went on in these pages.
And oddly, I had the impression that Marlowe was pulling a Poirot by the end. At least, that was the impression. It almost fooled me, too. :)
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