Marlowe is hired by an influential lawyer he's never herd of to tail a gorgeous redhead, but decides he prefers to help out the redhead. She's been acquitted of her alcoholic husband's murder, but her father-in-law prefers not to take the court's word for it.
"Chandler wrote like a slumming angel and invested the sun-blinded streets of Los Angeles with a romantic presence:" -- Ross Macdonald
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of Family & Relationships eBook: Playback||Series: Philip Marlowe,|
|Release Date: 06-11-2002|
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|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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The voice on the telephone seemed to be sharp and peremptory, but I didn't hear too well what it said-partly because I was only half awake and partly because I was holding the receiver upside down. I fumbled it around and grunted.
"Did you hear me? I said I was Clyde Umney, the lawyer."
"Clyde Umney, the lawyer. I thought we had several of them."
"You're Marlowe, aren't you?"
"Yeah. I guess so." I looked at my wrist watch. It was 6:30 a.m., not my best hour.
"Don't get fresh with me, young man."
"Sorry, Mr. Umney. But I'm not a young man. I'm old, tired and full of no coffee. What can I do for you, sir?"
"I want you to meet the Super Chief at eight o'clock, identify a girl among the passengers, follow her until she checks in somewhere, and then report to me. Is that clear?"
"Why not?" he snapped.
"I don't know enough to be sure I could accept the case."
"I'm Clyde Um-"
"Don't," I interrupted. "I might get hysterical. Just tell me the basic facts. Perhaps another investigator would suit you better. I never was an FBI man."
"Oh. My secretary, Miss Vermilyea, will be at your office in half an hour. She will have the necessary information for you. She is very efficient. I hope you are."
"I'm more efficient when I've had breakfast. Have her come here, would you?"
"Where is here?"
I gave him the address of my place on Yucca Avenue, and told him how she would find it.
"Very well," he said gru