The Long Goodbye, Raymond Chandler, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1953, 256 pp
I liked this the best of all five Raymond Chandler books I have read. Some critics don't agree with me but it did win the Edgar Award in 1955. In The Long Goodbye, Philip Marlowe befriends a mysterious fellow and goes to great lengths to prove the man's innocence. Though there is money involved, Marlowe seems to be truly acting from a sense of honor.
That sense of honor contrasted with Marlowe's cynicism is the theme that runs through all of Chandler's work and while he stays firmly in the noir genre here, I thought he took it a few steps further into questions about what is the law, what is justice, and how does a person get at the truth?
I found the plot easier to follow than any of his other books. Chandler is not in such a mad rush as in the earlier books. He is a master of a genre he helped create and I am sad that there is only one more book for me to read.
(The Long Goodbye is available in paperback by order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)