The Thumbnail Book Reviews

by John Q McDonald --- 23 January 2004

The Lady in the Lake

by Raymond Chandler

In this, Chandler's fourth novel, written during the years of World War II, he crafts another of his intricate and gritty mysteries explored by Philip Marlowe. This time, Marlowe is hired by a perfume company executive to find his wayward wife and avoid potential scandal. Almost from the start, Crystal Kingsley is going to be a lot of trouble. A body floats to the surface of a lake surrounded by vacation cabins. Shady characters, of course, know a lot more than they're letting on. And Chandler seems also to be grinding an axe over the hard-nosed corruption of the L.A. police department. The intrusions of the everyday facts of the war years are very interesting. But, Marlowe is a little more somber in this book, less witty and less given to hilarious simile. The book is well-crafted, as usual, and complex. Several devices seen before reappear, though, and overall this book seems more of a workaday effort by the author. Still it remains entertaining, and superior to so many books of the genre.

[Mail John][To List]

Also by Chandler: [The High Window] [The Big Sleep] [The Little Sister] [The Long Goodbye] [Playback] [Farewell, My Lovely]

[Other Mystery Books]

[Other books set in California]