Young tornado of a tale in which Philip Marlowe, private detective, witnesses the killing of a bartender, in a Negro joint, and then of a client, who seems to be fingerman for a gang of jip artists and dope peddlers. Marlowe takes a tall amount of assault and battery as he defies the police and prowls on his own, with the help of a redhead. He follows the trail which leads from a bar to a seductive blonde to a spurious occulist to a graft-ridden California police set-up. High pressure, smart stuff -- argot after the Remingway pattern -- tough modern school. 'Ware.