Rebecca’s #CBR4 Review #52: The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler
The Lady in the Lake is another Philip Marlowe mystery written by Chandler. This time, the private detective is retained by a rich executive whose wife has disappeared. Marlowe goes to investigate, finds the body of another man in a lake, and ends up involved in a mess much more complicated than just a missing woman.
The novel is written with Chandler’s typical sparse prose, written from Marlowe’s perspective. Marlowe is observant and quiet, and sees everything. He is constantly in danger, whether it is from crooked cops, tough guys, or dangerous women. It’s a little hard to talk about Chandler without lapsing into what sounds like a parody of 1940′s detective stories.
The only complaint I can make about The Lady in the Lake is that it ends with a long speech summing up the solution to the mystery. We are given the pieces, and then Marlowe sets it up so all the key parties are present, and then he gives a speech that details what happened and when, and it’s different from what the solution seemed to be 20 pages before. However, a novel with pacing, atmosphere, and characters this good is more than worthwhile even with that flaw.