The Second Murderer: A Philip Marlowe Novel (Hardcover)
Philip Marlowe is on the hunt for a missing heiress—and up against a rival PI—in this smart and atmospheric authorized mystery from acclaimed crime writer and "one-of-a-kind storyteller" Denise Mina (James Patterson), the first woman to recreate Raymond Chandler’s infamous detective.
"Perhaps the most pleasing and affecting Marlowe pastiche yet.” —Wall Street Journal
Has Philip Marlowe finally met his match?
It’s early fall when a heatwave descends on Los Angeles. Private Detective Philip Marlowe is called to the Montgomery estate, an almost mythic place sitting high on top of Beverly Hills. Wealthy socialite Chrissie Montgomery is missing. Young, naïve, and set to inherit an enormous fortune, she’s a walking target, ripe for someone to get their claws into. Her dying father and his sultry bottle-blonde girlfriend want her found before that happens. To make sure, they’ve got Anne Riordan—now head of her own all-female detective agency—on the case, too.
The search for Chrissie takes the two investigators from the Montgomery mansion to the roughest neighborhoods of LA, through dive bars and boarding houses and out to Skid Row. And that’s all before they find the body at The Brody Hotel. Who will get to Chrissie first? And what happens when a woman doesn’t want to be found?
In The Second Murderer, Denise Mina becomes the first woman to recreate Raymond Chandler’s infamous detective, delivering a clever and timely new take on Philip Marlowe, as well as a propulsive, dark, and witty mystery all its own.
Denise Mina is the author of sixteen novels, including the Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club pick Conviction and its sequel Confidence, as well as The Less Dead, The Long Drop—winner of the 2017 McIlvanney Prize for Scottish crime book of the year—and the Garnethill trilogy, the first installment of which won the John Creasey Memorial Award for best first crime novel, among others. Mina has twice received the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. She lives in Glasgow.
“Mina’s evocation of time and place is noteworthy, and her Chandleresque one-liners provoke appropriate amusement . . . her book, with its vivid scene-setting and spot-on dialogue, is perhaps the most pleasing and affecting Marlowe pastiche yet.”—Wall Street Journal
"What a pleasure to read my beloved Philip Marlowe as imagined by one of my favorite working crime writers. Denise Mina has the vision, wit, and soul to bring Marlowe and the Los Angeles of our noir dreams glimmering darkly to life."
—Steph Cha, author of Your House Will Pay
“Terrific . . . On top of nailing Chandler’s atmospherics, Mina delivers a truly surprising plot. Noir fans will hope Mina returns to the mean streets of L.A. again soon.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"There are scenes in which the cadences and worldview and those tricky similes are spot on. . . . What’s most striking is Mina’s updating of Marlowe’s cultural attitudes . . . as his acceptance of Anne Riordan as a fellow professional suggests, this Marlowe recognizes that women can be more than just dangerous dames or helpless frails."—The Washington Post
“Mina has obviously made a close study of Chandler’s particular brand of poetics, while still bringing her own enviable style to the story . . . Mina also brings a critical eye to Marlowe in the best sense possible: understanding him in his core. His weaknesses are on display, but so is the deep strain of romanticism underpinning this seemingly immortal literary character.”—CrimeReads
“A pitch perfect, cinematic homage to the master of noir crime fiction, Raymond Chandler, and his timeless hero, Philip Marlowe. Using whip-smart dialogue, and lush, sensual descriptions of the City of Angels, from Skid Row to the mansions of Beverly Hills, Mina's Marlowe faces danger at every turn with wit, compassion, and bourbon-proof smarts. I loved this book!”—Kathleen Kent, author of The Dime and Black Wolf
"Playful in its early stages, as Mina cheekily piles on Marlowe’s trademark similes . . . Female-forward in all sorts of ways—quite a change of pace for the legendary gumshoe."—Kirkus Reviews
“Perfectly rendered . . . . Mina has the world-weary, florid voice of Chandler’s P.I. down pat. The tropes, the mise-en-scène, the unforgettable characters, the convoluted, Chandler-esque plot—they’re all here, with Mina’s creative, timely-but-not-anachronistic touches. Fans of the original books (and movies) starring Marlowe will appreciate his return; those who like re-creations of classics, such as the HBO Perry Mason series starring Matthew Rhys and Juliet Rylance, will enjoy this outing.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Mina’s Marlowe is a smart, inspired take on a character we have come to take for granted, who’s as problematic as he is adored. The Second Murderer takes him on a slightly different trajectory, both honoring him and challenging him to be a better man for a changing world.”—Alta