The Lady In The Lake by Raymond Chandler
Fast-talking, trouble-seeking private eye Philip Marlowe is a different kind of detective: a moral man in an amoral world. California in the '40s and '50s is as beautiful as a ripe fruit and rotten to the core, and Marlowe must struggle to retain his integrity amidst the corruption he encounters daily. In The Lady in the Lake, Derace Kingsley, a wealthy businessman, hires Marlowe to find his estranged wife Crystal, fearing that she may have got herself into a scandal. Rich, pretty, spoiled and reckless, Crystal is all kinds of trouble rolled into one as far as Marlowe's concerned, but he agrees to take the case and heads to Kingsley's vacation home in Little Fawn Lake to find the lady. And sure enough, one turns up - drowned and almost unrecognizable except for her clothes and jewellery. But there's a snag: the body is identified as Muriel Chess, the caretaker's wife. With Crystal still missing and corpses turning up wherever he goes, the case soon turns into one of the toughest Marlowe's ever encountered... Starring Toby Stephens, this thrilling dramatisation perfectly evokes the atmosphere of Chandler's fast-paced, absorbing novel. 2 CDs. 1 hr 27 mins.