This book had nice action, an interesting investigation, the usual problems with noir novels (two-dimensional characters, exaggerated reactions, simplistic conclusions), but just enough pages to stay entertaining in spite of them.
It is also an eloquent essay on how fragile the male ego is. Oh my God, Marlowe.
You say you love her. I've seen no evidence of that, but that's your claim and I'll believe you. But, seriously, you will divorce the woman you love, who is beautiful, loves you, does everything for you, just because she has more money than you and you feel emasculated by that? And then feebly attempt to disguise that, by saying "I have to be who I am". You are who you are, no matter where you are and what you're doing. The problem is, who you are is someone who needs to make more money than his wife to feel like a "real" man. As exasperating as it was to read, at least I'm comforted by the knowledge that she's so
much better off without him.
Interestingly, I was treated to quite a lot of second-hand embarrassment in the first few chapters of the book. Marlowe is adjusting to life as a multi-millionaire (or, the husband of a multi-millionaire) and tries to show his servant, "Tino", that he's actually a "nice guy", and not a rich snob, by offering to be his friend and making awkward jokes, to which Tino smiles broadly, displaying his pleasure. He's your house servant, did you honestly expect him to say you're not funny and he doesn't want to be your friend? Besides, you didn't even bother to learn his name, you just call him Tino. You're not fooling anybody with your offer of friendship.
In spite of it being uncomfortable, I actually thought it was a nice variation from the previous books. It somehow makes the character more believable. He's still a long way from being an interesting, real, well-developed person, but it still is refreshing to see, and it fills me with hopes for the next books (even though I know I'll probably be disappointed). Marlowe is still inexplicably irresistible to every woman who meets him, though.