Only to Sleep.

Position:Only to Sleep: A Philip Marlow Novel - Book review
 
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***1/2

Only to Sleep

A Philip Marlow Novel

By Lawrence Osborne

British novelist Lawrence Osborne is the author of the novels The Forgiven (2012), The Ballad of a Small Player (2014), Hunters in the Dark (2015), and Beautiful Animals (2017), as well as works of nonfiction that include Bangkok Days (2009) and The Wet and the Dry (2013). He currently resides in Bangkok.

THE STORY: In 1988, Marlowe is living south of the border, in Baja California, with his middle-aged maid and a stray dog. But does a man a decade into retirement carry a silver-tipped cane that conceals a blade? The old gumshoe is beckoned back into service when a couple of insurance guys ask him to look into the drowning of debt-laden American developer Donald Zinn. Before the insurance company makes good on a $2 million payment to Zinn's widow, the comely Dolores, it wants to make certain everything's on the up-and-up. Marlowe crosses over to San Diego to make Dolores's acquaintance and is drawn into every bit as much skullduggery as any seasoned Marlowe reader can imagine. Did that corpse on the beach in fact belong to Zinn? The master is back on the job.

Hogarth. 272 pages. $26. ISBN: 9781524759612

Los Angeles Times ****

"[Osborne] admirably sidesteps the pitfalls of Chandler-esque pastiche. Nostalgic curiosity has been defenestrated; in its place, a Marlowe we at once know, but have never met before. This is a Lawrence Osborne book rather than a continuation novel." ROSS DAVIES

New York Times ****

"Osborne, an accomplished writer of fiction and nonfiction, has been asked to imagine a new case for Philip Marlowe and--have a smell from the barrel, all you gunsels and able grables--it crackles.... Osborne, who worked as a reporter along the border in the early 1990s, knows Mexico well and he passes that knowledge along to Marlowe." LAURA LIPPMAN

Washington Post ****

"Osborne succeeds brilliantly, largely by sidestepping...

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