The beauty of Chandler’s style is that the plot evolves a bit like a beating heart with the central case being added to with almost every breath providing Marlowe with leads to chase and a trail for the reader to follow that feels organic in its development. The other great thing about Marlowe is he says what most people would only think and uses his bluntness as a weapon to open people up.
Highlights from chapters eighteen to twenty five
* Marlowe manages to get some time with the woman he is chasing and she is candid about marrying for money but appears to know nothing about the missing coin and then gets bored with the private detective and asks him to leave
* Under pressure from the police Marlowe heads back to see Mrs Murdock and tells her he is going to have to reveal the details of the case and she reveals that the coin was stolen by her son who needed money to pay off a criminal he had borrowed from
* Marlowe doesn’t believe him and then has a row with Mrs Murdock and implies that she is implicated in the murders and that she is not telling him but before he storms out into the night he works out that the deceased husband was involved in an abusive relationship with his secretary
* His next assignation is with the dentist that the night club owner asked him to look into but the man has fled his office so Marlowe heads out to track him down at home