Part of my list of 1001 books you must read before you die for the year. Written in 1939, this is one of the novel that defines LA in the 30-40 for me. Along side The Black Dahlia, LA Confidential, I felt oddly comfortable in this bleak, noirish universe Chandler described. Marlowe is a sleek, tough private eye, we follow him trying to tie up the loose ends of a somewhat horrid family secret. I haven't watched the film version yet but will soon. I loved the plot, I loved the fact that you don't know anything more about Marlowe at the end of the book then what you started with at the beginning (and that's not much). I am definitely reading more of Chandler's work.