Review by Booklist Review
Ide takes a break from his wonderful IQ Quintabe series to reimagine Philip Marlowe. This version of Raymond Chandler's iconic PI patrols the mean streets of contemporary Los Angeles, and while he shares the original's bone-deep iconoclasm, he's distinctly his own man, complete with a rich backstory. We learn that Marlowe and his father, Emmet, a revered but alcoholic L.A. cop, are at odds--Marlowe unable to forgive Emmet for his booze-fueled absence while Marlowe's mother was dying of cancer; Emmet disgusted with his son for quitting the police. Mired in two missing-persons cases, however, Marlowe turns to Emmet for help. Finding Cody, the stepdaughter of Kendra James, a fading movie star ("Grace Kelly without the grace"), proves easy enough, but Marlowe needs to stash the smart-mouthed teen with Emmet while he determines if, as Cody claims, Kendra killed her father. Meanwhile, Marlowe searches for another disappeared daughter, this one snatched by her father in a custody battle. These toxically dysfunctional families bring forth the depth of Marlowe's melancholy ("Nothing ever came out completely right . . . Why? People. They fucked up everything."), but at the same time, he finds himself drawing closer to Emmet. The sleuthing here is top-notch, but it's the bantering father-son interplay (evoking Jim Rockford and father Rocky in The Rockford Files) that really gives the book its zip. More Marlowe and Emmet would be most welcome.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
In this uneven detective novel, Thriller Award finalist Ide (the IQ series) reimagines Raymond Chandler's hard-boiled sleuth, Philip Marlowe, as a contemporary PI. When the rebellious Marlowe doesn't last long on the police force, his father, a veteran LAPD cop, helps him get his start as an investigator. Marlowe's latest client is megastar actor Kendra James, who hires him six weeks after her husband was fatally shot near their Malibu home. Though that murder's unsolved, Kendra doesn't want Marlowe to take a crack at it, instead asking him to trace her 17-year-old stepdaughter, who hasn't been seen for weeks. Despite his distaste for the unpleasant Kendra, Marlowe takes the case. Things get complicated after he lands a second missing person search from British academic Ren Stewart, whose ex-husband has kidnapped their seven-year-old son. Ide's fans will appreciate the humor and evocative descriptions of L.A., but Chandler purists may miss the intimate first-person narration of the originals and not care for the attempt to deepen the lone wolf character of Marlowe by giving him a complicated relationship with his father. Not everyone will be looking forward to a sequel. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM Partners. (Feb.)
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Review by Library Journal Review
Ide takes a detour from his raved-about "IQ" series by reimagining iconic detective Philip Marlowe in contemporary times. This Marlowe is a reserved and efficient private eye who takes on two tricky cases, agreeing to find the daughter of a difficult Hollywood starlet and a child kidnapped from his mother by his father. Just as important is Marlowe's relationship with his once-admired LAPD homicide detective dad, awash in alcohol after the death of his wife. With a 40,000-copy first printing.
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
Ide brings Philip Marlowe to modern-day LA in this hard-boiled noir PI yarn. Marlowe is a private investigator in modern-day Los Angeles. His father, Emmet, is an alcoholic cop still mourning the loss of his beloved wife and wishing his son had become a cop. The famous but fast-fading movie star Kendra James reluctantly hires Marlowe to find her 17-year-old runaway stepdaughter, Cody. That's not a hard task, but the two women hate each other, and both deserve it. Kendra's husband, Terry, had been shot to death two weeks earlier, and she hardly cares one bit. The guy was just a washed-up moviemaker anyway. And Cody won't come home, accusing Kendra of killing her dad. Emmet and Marlowe have serious father-son issues, but Dad gives him critical help, especially by sheltering and protecting Cody. Then Marlowe unsuccessfully tries to turn down a second case: Englishwoman Ren Stewart's young son, Jeremy, has been kidnapped by his father, and Ren is desperate to bring him back to London. The tension builds as the two plotlines intersect with the aid of Russian and Armenian gangsters. Every character has great lines, and the descriptions alone make the story worth reading. "The movie went by like a cement wall taking a walk." "Freddie's smile imploded, as if his throat were sucking in his features." Kendra tells Marlowe that Cody's relationship with her brother, Noah, was "like a reenactment of the war in Vietnam. Firefights and bombing runs for years on end." Fans of the genre know that Philip Marlowe is the creation of the late Raymond Chandler, beginning with The Big Sleep in 1939. Chandler's Marlowe has long been considered the quintessential private investigator, relentless and resolute in his work. There is tension, violence, humor, and a bit of sadness, with romance just out of the hero's reach. This one's witty, clever, and fun, and it's worthy of the great Raymond Chandler. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.