Raymond Chandler: Poodle Springs

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Raymond Chandler Poodle Springs
  • Название:
    Poodle Springs
  • Автор:
  • Издательство:
    Berkley
  • Жанр:
    Криминальный детектив / на английском языке
  • Год:
    1990
  • Язык:
    Английский
  • ISBN:
    0-425-12343-X / 978-0-425-12343-0
  • Рейтинг книги:
    5 / 5
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Poodle Springs: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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MARLOWE IS BACK – IN A CLASSIC THRILLER NO CHANDLER AFICIONADO WILL BE ABLE TO RESIST… When Raymond Chandler died in 1959, he left behind an unfinished Philip Marlowe novel. Now, thirty years later,has become a complete work, thanks to the inspired writing of Robert B Parker, the foremost contemporary exponent of the Chandler style. As the novel opens, Marlowe is married and bored. Naturally enough, he starts up a detective agency, and within hours he has alienated solid citizens, tangled with the cops and been hired by a local gangster to find a gambler who's skipped out on a debt. And this is only the beginning. Before Marlowe brings in his man, he discovers another side of- a dark and dangerous place, where desperation makes men and women lead secret lives – and, if that fails, the only alternative is murder…

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I kept going.

I heard Angel say, "Good-bye, Mr. Marlowe. Thank you."

I waved without looking back. Then I was in my car and out on Wilcox Ave.

41

It was too late to go back to the office and too early to go back to my furnished apartment and count the walls. Maybe later. I'd set up a chess problem, have a couple of drinks, smoke my pipe. But not yet. If I started now the evening would be too long.

So I cruised slowly around Hollywood looking at the hustlers and pimps, the tourists and hookers, the people from Plainfield, New Jersey, looking for stars, the prom queens from Shakopee, Minnesota, veterans already of the casting couches. They were all there on the boulevard, frightened, eager, angry, desperate, just and unjust; mingling, hurrying, hanging around, trying to get ahead, get a stake, get a chance, a kind word; looking for money, for love, for a place to sleep, trying to score some dope, some booze, something to eat; most of them alone, almost all of them lonely.

I found a spot to park across the street and got out and went into the bar at the Roosevelt. I had a double vodka gimlet and sat at the end of the bar to drink.it. The after-office crowd was beginning to drift in. I looked at the bar light coming through the nearly straw-colored gimlet. It had been a long time since I'd sat in this bar and had a gimlet with Terry Lennox, a long time since I'd first met Linda Loring. Harlan Potter's daughter: gold and diamonds and silk, and perfume that cost more than my weekly wage. A long time, and I was still at the end of the bar when it was over, drinking alone.

Too bad, Marlowe. Too bad there wasn't any other way.

I drank the rest of my gimlet and got up and went out, and drove home.

My apartment had the musty, closed-up smell that they get when nothing human is in them all day. I left the hall door open and went and threw up a couple of windows in the living room to let the air blow through. The clouds were broken now and off to the west colored with the sun as it began to set. I left the windows and door open and went to the kitchen to make a drink. I put ice and soda in a glass with a shot of Scotch and carried it back to the living room. Linda was there. She had come in and closed the door. Beside her on the floor was a small overnight case. She wore a little pink suit and a silly pink hat the size of a throw rug and white gloves and shoes. Her overnight case was pink with white trim and had her initials on it. L.M.

"In town for long?" I said.

She didn't answer, only looked at me, and her eyes were enormous and simultaneously dark and luminous.

"This is a community property state," I said. "Did you come to carry off half my ammunition?"

"I came to make love with you," she said.

"I thought we were getting divorced," I said.

"Yes," she said, "we are. But it doesn't cover making love."

"You seem awfully sure of yourself," I said. "Overnight case and all. What if I said no?"

Linda smiled and shook her head. I felt as if I might disappear into her eyes if I looked at them too long.

"You're right," I said. "I probably won't say no."

She smiled a little wider, still silent, still with eternity lurking behind her eyes. She reached up and unpinned the silly pink hat and put it on the coffee table.

"I need to know what all this means to us," I said.

She nodded slowly.

"It means," she said, and her voice was almost detached, as if in tune with an orchestra playing out of earshot, "that we love each other too much to give each other up. We can end the marriage, but we cannot end the love. Probably we can't live together. But why must that mean we can't be lovers?"

"Oh," I said, "I see. That's what it means."

"Yes."

"Well, it makes sense to me," I said.

Linda unbuttoned the suit jacket and took it off, and unzipped her skirt and slid out of it. She took off her undergarments and let them drop to the floor and stood up straight and smiled at me some more.

"Do you wish to have me ravage you here on the living room floor or would you prefer to retire to the bedroom?" I said. I seemed disconnected now from my voice, as well, as if reality were off camera and we were enacting a poem that someone else had chanted. Linda didn't answer.

"What's your preference?" I heard myself say.

"I think both," I heard Linda say. And later, much later in the darkness, with the world put far aside, I heard one of us say, "forever?" and the other, I don't know which, our voices had merged by then, answered, "forever."

Notes


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