3 1/2 actually. This plot has so many twists and turns it effectively twirl the reader around and sideways but manages to never make you sick. You get the nice girl, the bad girl, the very bad girl, a few psychotic killers and a somewhat out of control Marlowe that tries to make some sense out of a very bad situation. Nothing is what it seems and the good guys aren't always wearing white hats. A solid plot, characters that make you care about them even if they are soooo bad. Like this one a lot.