Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"The Pencil" by Raymond Chandler

Available in: Raymond Chandler: Collected Stories. Knopf, 2002.

To mark the 120th anniversary of Chandler's birth, a review of this 1959 story, written especially for England twenty years after Philip Marlowe's previous appearance in the short form.

Here Marlowe is hired by Ikky Rothstein, a low-level mobster who's been targeted by the Outfit for execution and is looking to excape. Enlisting the help of his lady friend Anne Riordan, Marlowe manages to keep two hitmen off Ikky's trail, but in the aftermath he finds another man identified as Rothstein and himself the target of a hit.

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