Franky's Reviews > The Lady in the Lake

The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler
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Jul 24, 12

really liked it
Read from July 02 to 13, 2012

What appears to be a case of finding the whereabouts of a missing wife turns out to be much more, as is typical of Chandler to make things a bit more complicated once the first mystery is presented to us. Marlowe is summoned and hired by Derace Kingsley to find his wife, Crystal Kingsley. Crystal has apparently slipped town with another man and Kingsley, worried about public scandal, puts a price on finding her. Marlowe heads to Little Fawn Lake, a small resort away from the city, to find some clues, as it seems to be the last place she was seen. As with many Marlowe novels, the primary mystery leads to a few other puzzles, and, soon after arriving and speaking with one of the more eccentric characters, heavy drinker Bill Chess, Marlowe finds himself in the middle of quite a case, where people aren’t really who you think they are and even if they are, you can’t really trust them. After a mysterious death, the game is pretty much on for Marlowe, as he tries to understand the motives of a murderer, all the while dealing with some shady types and even corrupt cops.

I read The Big Sleep awhile back and was sold on Chandler. The Lady in the Lake is another solid entry into the Marlowe series, the fourth book in the series, which takes Marlowe out of his usual Los Angeles surroundings to backwards Bay City and into Little Fawn Lake. There’s something about Chandler’s prose and style that is so fitting for the setting and pace of The Lady in the Lake. With Marlowe as his lead, the novel can change from cynical humor to exacting, gripping tension and suspense within moments. Marlowe’s imperfect style of investigation really is what makes this novel tick, and he carries the torch for the narration, being able to read seedy people and dangerous situations. When there is a slip up, he has to worm his way out using those instincts he’s had for years.

The Lady in the Lake is a fine example of a noir classic, and Chandler illustrates why he is considered one of the finest writers of this genre.
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07/05/2012 page 30
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