Although this mystery starts out quiet, even a little slow, the writing was compelling and kept me reading. And once I got going, next thing I knew I was done with the book. I’m a huge fan of detective movies from the 1940s and Osborne has captured that style while keeping the story fresh. Follow Philip Marlowe to Mexico as he hunts for the truth for an insurance agency and gets tangled in more than even he--a seasoned investigator--expected.
Lawrence Osborne brings one of literature's most enduring detectives back to life – as Private Investigator Philip Marlowe returns for one last adventure.
The year is 1988. The place, Baja California. And Philip Marlowe – now in his seventy-second year – is living out his retirement in the terrace bar of the La Fonda hotel. Sipping margaritas, playing cards, his silver-tipped cane at the ready. When in saunter two men dressed like undertakers, with a case that has his name written all over it.
For Marlowe, this is his last roll of the dice, his swan song. His mission is to investigate the death of Donald Zinn – supposedly drowned off his yacht, and leaving behind a much younger and now very rich wife. But is Zinn actually alive? Are the pair living off the spoils?
Set between the border and badlands of Mexico and California, Lawrence Osborne’s resurrection of the iconic Marlowe is an unforgettable addition to the Raymond Chandler canon.
About the Author
LAWRENCE OSBORNE was born in England but has traveled and lived all over the world. He is the author of the critically acclaimed novels The Forgiven, The Ballad of a Small Player, Hunters in the Dark, and Beautiful Animals. He is the third writer, after John Banville (writing as Benjamin Black) and Robert B. Parker, to be asked by the Raymond Chandler Estate to write a new Philip Marlowe novel. In Only to Sleep, Osborne draws from his time working as a reporter on the Mexican border in the early 1990s. His non fiction includes Bangkok Days and The Wet and the Dry. His short story 'Volcano' was selected for Best American Short Stories 2012. He has written for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Conde Nast Traveler, Forbes, Harper's, and other publications. He lives in Bangkok.
*New York Times Book Review, Editor's Choice* *New York Post's Must-Read Books of the Week*
'Osborne, an accomplished writer of fiction and nonfiction, has been asked to imagine a new case for Philip Marlowe and—have a smell from the barrel, all you gunsels and able grables—it crackles.' — New York Times Book Review
'Only to Sleep admirably sidesteps the pitfalls of Chandler-esque pastiche... in its place, a Marlowe we at once know, but have never met before. As much a meditation on aging and memory as it is a crime thriller.' — LA Times
‘Brilliant... Osborne and Chandler are a perfect match.’ — William Boyd, author of Any Human Heart and Solo: A James Bond Novel
'Lawrence Osborne has done some amazing things with words. He's made a hard, sharp name for himself...telling morally gray and existentially terrifying tales about men and women loose in the world's far places.Only to Sleep is a story about age and regret and murder. About the American Dream. About The Mexican Dream. It's the kind of book where, when you read it, it turns the world to black and white for a half-hour afterward. It leaves you with the taste of rum and blood in your mouth. It hangs with you like a scar.' — NPR
'Whether you want a believably resurrected Chandler book or simply a good novel, this is for you.' — Washington Times
'Osborne succeeds brilliantly… [he] captures the dreamlike quality of the original Marlowe novels.' — Washington Post
'Absorbing...semi-exotic, lushly described... a fine way to leave an old fictional friend, taking at last a well-earned rest in the sun after having given readers decades of pleasure.' — Wall Street Journal 'Osborne is the third writer to have resurrected Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe, and his effort may be the best of the lot.' — Booklist
'Fans of the Raymond Chandler originals as well as the Robert B. Parker and Benjamin Black successors will find much to like here.... a fresh perspective on one of the classic hard-boiled detective.' — Library Journal
'It's a joy to see Philip Marlowe lured back for one last job by the gleefully unsentimental Lawrence Osborne... If you like noir, pour yourself something cool and enjoy one final dark night of the soul.’ — Joseph Knox, author of Sirens
'Osborne skillfully channels Chandler’s distinctive prose and tone. He also captures Marlowe’s keen observations and courage, along with a world-weariness and cynicism that somehow mesh with his essential sense of hope.' — Seattle Times
'Lawrence Osborne is one of the most interesting authors at writing today. He has taken a Chandlerian plot, filtered it through the mind of an autumnal Philip Marlowe, and given us a story that haunts in its details, its corners, its shadows and in its ghosts.'— J.P Smith, The Nervous Breakdown