I was in the mood for a classic detective story that evoked the 1950’s, and got my fix with The Black-Eyed Blonde. The writing immediately impressed me. I loved the way the sentences flowed off the pages, and demanded that each word be emphasized. The entire time I read this, I saw the events play out in my mind like a black and white movie (think Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep). Before I knew it, I was pulled into the mystery surrounding the blonde who hired private detective Phillip Marlow to investigate her lover’s death.
I’m still amazed that Benjamin Black tackled such a large project: mimicking the bygone era of classic detective stories written by acclaimed author Raymond Chandler. Impromptu encounters, hit men, and sinister secrets dotted the story in a well paced manner. Surprising characters and events continued to keep me, and Phillip Marlow, off-balance. Black captured the time period so well, and all the small details of the 1950’s, like answering services, helped create an entire world. I was dying to discover the truth to the tapestry of events, but wasn’t overly satisfied with the ending, where the author provided a surprise conclusion that came out of nowhere.
This was an entertaining read.