Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Ten of the best examples of dialogue in crime fiction

Andrew Martin’s new novel is The Yellow Diamond. At the Guardian he tagged ten of the best examples of dialogue in crime fiction, including:
Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler

Mr Lindsay Marriott asks the detective Marlowe to accompany him on a rendez-vous but won’t say why. Marlowe suggests, ‘You just want me to go along and hold your hat?’ which annoys Marriott:
‘I’m afraid I don’t like your manner,’ he said, using the edge of his voice.

‘I’ve had complaints about it,’ I said. ‘But nothing seems to do any good.’
Marlowe is irresistible, partly because such laconicism signifies bravery. Later on, he says to another character, ‘I talk too much when I’m scared too.’ But in fact Marlowe never talks too much.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Farewell, My Lovely is among Lynda La Plante's six best books and Dennis McDougal's five top books on Southern California; it features one of the fifty greatest villains in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue