Philip Marlow didn’t last long as a police officer, just like his father Emmett a decorated detective predicted. Ten years in as a private investigator in Los Angeles, Marlow has a reputation for getting things done, and for being difficult to deal with.
The introductory case in the book is the missing step-daughter of a jaded and entitled actress whose shelf-life is past the buy date. And coincidentally, whose husband has just been murdered.
Later in the story, Marlow is referred to a British professor whose son has been kidnapped by her ex-husband, the boy’s father. He’s intrigued by her.
And so the wheels and cogs move around. The heart of this story however, is the tense and uneasy relationship between Marlow and his father.
Emmet descended into alcoholism upon the death of his wife a few years earlier. He’s on leave for drinking on the job but uses his badge and police contacts incautiously to help with the cases.
The Goodbye Coast is a genially rendered, fearless interpretation of Marlowe in present day Los Angeles. He’s a confident, quiet, and capable man. The story is replete with social inequities, vicious motives and some humourous moments.
Is this book for everyone? No, too many will conflate the character of Marlow. There is some unevenness, and head hopping, but I enjoyed this modern take on him operating in todays LA.
Joe Ide is the author of the hugely successful IQ series and this new venture is an interesting change.
~ June Lorraine Roberts
Murder in Common is a Feedspot Top 100 Crime Novel Website