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Publisher's Summary

In this gripping and deeply evocative crime novel, Benjamin Black returns us to the dark, mesmerising world of Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye and his singular detective Philip Marlowe; one of the most iconic and enduringly popular detectives in crime fiction.

Maybe it was time I forgot about Nico Peterson, and his sister, and the Cahuilla Club, and Clare Cavendish. Clare? The rest would be easy to put out of my mind, but not the black-eyed blonde....

It is the early 1950s. In Los Angeles, Private Detective Philip Marlowe is as restless and lonely as ever, and business is a little slow. Then a new client arrives: young, beautiful, and expensively dressed, Clare Cavendish wants Marlowe to find her former lover, a man named Nico Peterson. Soon Marlowe will find himself not only under the spell of the Black-Eyed Blonde; but tangling with one of Bay City's richest families - and developing a singular appreciation for how far they will go to protect their fortune....

©2014 Benjamin Black (P)2014 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Critic Reviews

"When I heard that Benjamin Black, aka the Man Booker-winner John Banville, had taken on the job, I felt the Chandler estate had plumped for the right man. Like Chandler, Banville sweats over his sentences. And although the avowed model for Banville/Black’s crime fiction is Simenon, there is a great deal of Marlowe in his lonely, quixotic protagonist Quirke ... The plot is dead right ... The voice is spot on too" (Daily Telegraph)
“If anything, oddly, the book is probably better than an actual Chandler: more coherent, and more consistent, more careful. Banville is simply a more elegant writer. Chandler was a metaphorical rogue trader; Banville is a class act... This is perfect Mr Banville” (New Statesman)

What members say

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    out of 5 stars
  • David Anderson
  • 01-28-17

Vintage Marlowe

Would you listen to The Black Eyed Blonde again? Why?

Yes, There were so many really good lines in the story, the author has produced this book with the dedication of a master craftsman.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The world weary private detective Marlowe who just doesn't seen to fit into the life he lives, yet can't (or won't because he's a stubborn cuss) change the path he's be set on.

What about Dennis Boutsikaris’s performance did you like?

Absolutely nailed the character to a 'T' I really hope he continues with this.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It surprised me how the author kept a lid on the plot until the final few pages. Bravo I didn't guess who did it!

Any additional comments?

Let me know when the next book is out.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • janemorgan
  • 02-07-15

Wonderful

Very evocative , of a time ,place and style. Perfect escape from today . Wonderful that Raymond Chandlers characters have more stories to inhabit .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rosemary
  • 10-17-14

Love the voice on this reading

Where does The Black Eyed Blonde rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's a great bedtime listen but the story, while well told, will appeal only to those who are raymond carver fans since banville (the pen behind benjamin black) is really entering into the mindset of the time…so dont expect a Benjamin Black novel!

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

It's the voice which I love and the fun one liners which capture the genre

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • ELIZABETH
  • 06-28-16

Fun

Well-crafted homage to Chandler. Not as good as Chandler's best, but better than his worst. Nice characters and scenario. Denouement too obviously foreshadowed. Convincingly read.