The Goodbye Coast

A Philip Marlowe Novel


By Joe Ide

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In this colorful reinvention of a classic, Philip Marlowe finds himself tangled in two missing persons cases; “Ide has chiseled off the rust while keeping the soul of one of American fiction’s icons” (Dennis Lehane).

The seductive and relentless figure of Raymond Chandler’s detective, Philip Marlowe, is vividly re-imagined in present-day Los Angeles. Here is a city of scheming Malibu actresses, ruthless gang members, virulent inequality, and washed-out police. Acclaimed and award-winning novelist Joe Ide imagines a Marlowe very much of our time: he’s a quiet, lonely, and remarkably capable and confident private detective, though he lives beneath the shadow of his father, a once-decorated LAPD homicide detective, famous throughout the city, who’s given in to drink after the death of Marlowe’s mother.
Marlowe, against his better judgement, accepts two missing person cases, the first a daughter of a faded, tyrannical Hollywood starlet, and the second, a British child stolen from his mother by his father. At the center of The Goodbye Coast is Marlowe’s troubled and confounding relationship with his father, a son who despises yet respects his dad, and a dad who’s unable to hide his bitter disappointment with his grown boy. 

Steeped in the richly detailed ethnic neighborhoods of modern LA, Ide’s The Goodbye Coast is a bold recreation that is viciously funny, ingeniously plotted, and surprisingly tender.


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We all live slapstick lives, under an inexplicable sentence of death.

—Martin Gardner, The Annotated Alice


As far back as Marlowe could remember, he'd wanted to be a detective like his dad. He listened intently to the old man's stories about examining the scene, searching for evidence, following leads, questioning witnesses and extracting confessions. It sounded intriguing, exciting, things he wanted to know about, things he wanted to do. He was incensed by the perpetrators. Their cruelty, lack of conscience, lack of decency. He bled for the victims, imagining the undeserved horror the crimes brought down on them.

Marlowe signed up for college courses in law enforcement but almost immediately dropped out. The classes bored the shit out of him but he read the textbooks end to end. A college degree wasn't a requirement to join the LAPD. He applied to the police academy and was accepted. He was nineteen years old. He thought he knew everything. His father worked the homicide table at the Newton Street station.

"You won't make it," Emmet said. "It's your attitude."

"What attitude?" Marlowe said.

"Police departments are paramilitary organizations. You have to follow orders and obey the rules, but you don't like following orders or obeying rules or, for that matter, wearing a uniform, working with a partner or submitting in any way to any kind of authority. That attitude."

"You're wrong. That's not me," Marlowe said. "I can do anything I put my mind to." It was one of the rare occasions when Emmet looked at his son with any sort of affection. In this case, it was weary.

"I knew you'd say something like that," Emmet said. "You're hardheaded, son, you don't listen to people who know more than you, another reason why you'll never be a cop." Addie was standing in the doorway. She was holding a mixing bowl in her arms and stirring something with a wooden spoon.

"What about it, Mom?" Marlowe said. "You think I can be a cop, don't you?"

Addie smiled lovingly. "No, sweetheart. You won't last a month."

"Maybe be a plumber, you're good at fixing things," Emmet said.

"Okay, fine," Marlowe said. "When this is over, I'll bring you a spatula to scrape the egg off your face."

Marlowe lasted three weeks. He was discharged from the academy for disrespecting the officer in charge, Cliff Hanson, who oversaw the training division. Hanson was a pompous sort, given to making lengthy, monotonous speeches about serving the community, crime prevention, leadership and being a role model. Marlowe hated the speeches. The whole division had to stand at attention, everybody wishing they could sit the fuck down. Hanson had a long, oblong head, most of which was forehead, a patch of wispy white hair at its apex, bushy eyebrows over a broad nose and an insignificant mouth. Marlowe was enduring yet another speech, this one about patriotism, when he said to a fellow trainee, "You know what? Hanson looks like Howard the Duck." The trainee burst out laughing. Later, he was questioned by the lieutenant and he ratted out Marlowe. After Marlowe's departure, there were further reports about him gambling with the maintenance staff and having sex with a crime scene analyst in the forensics van.

"Didn't I tell you this would happen?" Emmet said gleefully. "Didn't I, hotshot? Are you returning the spatula? Hello? Are you there? Did you want to speak to your mom?"

Marlowe's other career choice was a private investigator. Unfortunately, it involved getting a license. He didn't have the academic requirements, but there was another option. Applicant has at least three years (2,000 hours each year for a total of 6,000 hours) of compensated experience in the field of investigative work.

It was the old conundrum. Marlowe needed to work as an investigator, but he couldn't because he didn't have a license to be an investigator. Emmet hooked him up with an old friend and ex-detective, Basilio Ignacia. Basilio agreed to take Marlowe on as an intern. In exchange, he wanted $130 to pay his phone bill and a new set of radial tires for the 1999 Crown Vic he'd bought at a police auction.

They met at Basilio's favorite restaurant, Panda Express on Cahuenga. They sat at a table the size of a school desk eating something called orange chicken with dried-out sticky rice. Marlowe didn't see any Chinese people, they wouldn't recognize the food. Basilio was unshaven, seemingly hungover or maybe that was just how he looked. Bloodhound eyes and Buckwheat hair, hard to do for a Latino man. He wore Bermuda shorts, long white socks and sandals. His T-shirt said VOTE FOR SHANIQUA.

"So tell me, Marlowe," Basilio said, "why do you want to be a PI?"

"I like watching and listening," Marlowe said earnestly. "I like figuring out why people do self-destructive things and why they try to hurt each other. I like watching them trying to walk back their lies."

"Yeah, that's fun," Basilio said.

Marlowe's face hardened, his eyes narrowed. "And I hate it when innocent people get hurt. I want to catch the assholes who hurt them and bring them to their knees."

"Good for you," Basilio said. Not the answer Marlowe was expecting. "I'll tell you, kid, the job isn't exactly like that. I mean the heroic stuff comes up now and then but most of the time, you're looking for a lost horse or working undercover at Burger King or searching a junkyard for an heirloom bedpan." Basilio had ordered broccoli beef along with the orange chicken. He moved the broccoli aside with his plastic fork.

"You're not eating that?" Marlowe said.

"The broccoli? No. It's only there to flavor the meat," Basilio said. He paused. Seemingly his throat was too full to go on eating. "Remember, you're not a cop," he said with difficulty. "Your main job is looking into things, not catching bad guys."

"No bad guys?" Marlowe said, dismayed.

"No, I didn't mean that. Oh, they're out there. I'm just saying they're not most of the job. Like what I'm working on now. It's a classic. Mrs. Delmonico's husband disappeared two months ago. She's an aggravating cow if I ever saw one. I couldn't stand her, even on the phone. Turns out, Mr. Delmonico is living happily in Boyle Heights with Alejandro, his former golf caddy."

"Have you told Mrs. Delmonico the good news?" Marlowe asked.

"No, it's an ethical thing," Basilio said.

"Isn't fulfilling your contract an ethical thing?"

"Mr. Delmonico left his wife well-off," Basilio said. "And I don't see anything ethical about wrecking the man's life. Besides, I gave the cow a refund." Basilio belched and brushed off the rice kernels clinging to the q in Shaniqua.

Emmet's having fun with you, Marlowe thought. He hooked you up with a buffoon. Time to cut this short. He started to stand up. "Being a PI is a strange occupation," Basilio continued. He held his plastic fork in the air and struck a philosophical tone. "Reassembling the past, reconstructing relationships, trying to link someone's words with the facts at hand or facts yet to be discovered. You overlay a hundred different constructs over the exact same information and you'll come up with a hundred different theories. Everyone sees, interprets and understands things differently. Everyone has their own aspirations, anxieties and fears. It's what they call human nature." Basilio paused to search his molars with his tongue. "Don't get me wrong, kid. I'm not saying it'll all be mundane. There are things inside people so vicious and depraved you'd think their breath would smell like roadkill. They're out there, Marlowe. Every vile infection, mutant species, every simmering brew of psychopathic evil are waiting for you right outside the door." Basilio unwrapped a toothpick and continued the search. "Sure you're still game?"


That was ten years ago and yes, Marlowe was still game.

Chapter One

The Case

Marlowe drove north on Pacific Coast Highway, heading into Malibu. Eleven thirty in the morning and he was a brick in a brick wall of traffic. It was one of the reasons he almost passed on the meeting. Driving from Hollywood to Malibu and back again was the same as being dead for three hours.

It used to be impossible to get to the beach itself. The big houses were packed in like library books and the wealthy residents blocked access with locked gates and PRIVATE PROPERTY signs. The California Coastal Commission had a difficult time convincing the owners that living on the beach didn't mean they owned the beach itself. For decades, celebrities like Dick Clark, Mel Brooks, Jack Lemmon, Olivia Newton-John and David Geffen fought efforts to let the public use their own beaches. In the end, the public won. Even so, ordinary folks were only seen occasionally. The locals grew azaleas in front of the COASTAL ACCESS signs or blotted out letters so they said COAL ASS.

Marlowe's potential new client was Kendra James, a full-on movie star and all that implied. Homes here and abroad, Bentley and a Prius in the garage, the latter to show her concern for the environment, vacations in Ibiza, on Lake Como and Richard Branson's private island and a personal trainer named Steely Dan who sometimes stayed over. She had a separate closet for her six hundred pairs of shoes. Money will protect you from everything, Marlowe thought, except Mother Nature, love and tragedy. Six weeks ago, Kendra's husband, Terry, was murdered, shot to death on the beach right in front of their home. Terry was forty-three years old.

Marlowe turned off PCH onto Malibu Colony Road. The houses weren't especially impressive from the street, many of them fronted by a bland stucco entry and a driveway. It was deceptive, however. The homes were huge, lavish, median price on the waterfront was almost thirty million. Marlowe had an innate dislike for the wealthy. Their power, privilege, their firewall of conscienceless attorneys, their wretched excess. Marlowe liked nice things but not immoderately, not over-the-top. Somehow, this made him a better person but he wasn't sure how. He passed the public entrance to the beach; a twenty-foot stretch of listing chain link fence. He was surprised it wasn't cloaked in camouflage netting with OPEN SEWER signs next to the gate.

Marlowe arrived at Kendra's place and parked on the road. He hesitated. He didn't want to go in. The idea of meeting a celebrity repelled him. Why? he thought. You don't even know this person. You're being prejudiced, a victim of stereotypes. He'd heard David Beckham was a good guy. Same with Dave Chappelle and Penélope Cruz. Maybe meeting Kendra would be a good experience or, at the very least, interesting. Marlowe waited for his mood to change but the insight made no difference. He didn't want to be here. Reluctantly he got out of the car. "Here we go," he sighed.


Kendra James was sitting on the sand drinking another Bloody Mary. She stared blankly at the flat, gray sea, gray clouds drifting mournfully overhead. The last few weeks had been a terrible ordeal. She was surprised at how much she missed Terry. She'd kicked him out of the house and filed for divorce right after she burned up his clothes and put their wedding pictures in the shredder. She despised him right up to the moment she put a rose on his casket.

She sensed someone was there, like a change in temperature or a breeze through an open window. She turned her head and looked up.

"Hello. I'm Philip Marlowe," he said, a note of regret in his voice. He reached down to shake hands.

"I'm sorry, I don't shake hands. I'm something of a germophobe," she said. "Thank you for schlepping all the way out here. I don't leave the house much these days." She would have made him come out here if she'd been in France. She patted the spot next to her. "Have a seat, Mr. Marlowe. Join me."

"No thank you. I don't want to get sand on my clothes," Marlowe said. He was wearing a dove-gray suit, obviously handmade, black silk tie undone, a milky-white Egyptian cotton shirt, thread count in the 180 to 200 range, and bespoke oxfords, shined but not shiny. Kendra wasn't used to being refused but she'd forgive him this time. She respected nice clothes.

"Let's go up on the deck," she said. Oddly, Marlowe didn't seem the least bit intimidated and people usually were, even if they'd known her for a long time.

As they crossed the sand, she noticed Marlowe was wearing a vintage Patek Philippe Tiffany rectangular watch. Her father had one just like it. The entry gate was held shut with a commercial-grade padlock and a heavy chain. Kendra did the combination, huddling over it as if Marlowe might want to rob the house one day. She led him up the side stairs to the living room. She liked showing the house to newcomers. The great room was an acre of white marble floor, sleek furniture that seemed to defy gravity and art pieces that were hard to differentiate from the furniture. Visitors invariably made a comment. It's so beautiful! The view is magnificent! Marlowe said nothing. In fact, he seemed to resent being here.

They went out on the deck and sat at a table shaded by an umbrella. For a moment, neither of them said anything. She gave him one of her favorite looks; a half smile, percipient and slightly amused, as if to say, I'm way ahead of you, buddy boy. Marlowe met her gaze and she was instantly uncomfortable. His eyes were the kind that took in everything but gave nothing away, the kind that didn't notice but inhaled; the kind that weren't neutral, but assessed, gleaned and adjudicated. She couldn't help staring. To break the spell she said,

"Would you like something to drink?"

"Black coffee," Marlowe said.

"Lucy, are you there?" she called.

Marlowe had presence, she decided. Surprising for someone who was probably in his early thirties. He was very good-looking, but he wore it differently than the other handsome men she had known. It was as if he was unaware of his appearance and would be surprised if someone remarked on it.

"Lucy, where are you?" Kendra said irritably.

Marlowe was looking off, distracted, as if he was bored and thinking about something other than the A-list celebrity sitting right in front of him. Disrespectful, Kendra thought. She wondered why her father had insisted on him. His quiet intensity was appealing. He reminded her a little of Steve McQueen if Steve McQueen had been a rude, insolent asshole. "Lucy! Are you there?" she called louder.


Marlowe wondered why Kendra didn't walk ten feet to the open door. Moments later, the housekeeper appeared. She was dark, stout, wearing an actual maid's uniform. Black with a white collar, white apron, white cuffs on the sleeves. It was as if a Latina woman had somehow landed a part on Downton Abbey. He offered her a friendly smile.

"I'm Philip Marlowe," he said.

"Hello, sir." She was surprised he'd introduced himself.

"I don't know your name."

"Lucy Cabello. Would you like something to drink?"

"Thank you, Lucy. I'll have black coffee."

Lucy nodded and went back inside. Kendra sighed, apparently annoyed by all the civility. She looks like Grace Kelly without the grace, thought Marlowe. Aristocratic features and soft blonde hair, keen blue eyes, her lips artificially plumped, her body teetering between fashionably sexy and she should lose a few pounds. Marlowe took in the view. The sea was the color of mop water, paltry waves lapping, sea gulls fighting over something slimy and covered with sand. An elderly man with a big belly and orange cabana shirt trudged past. He was talking on the phone and watching his Labradoodle defecate in a tide pool. "The hell I'll give him points," he said heatedly.

"I've heard you can be prickly," Kendra said, as if that were something charming. "May I call you Philip?"

"Call me Marlowe."

"In fact, Marlowe, I've heard you were a rude, impolite boor."

"What's your point?"

"My point?" Kendra said with a laugh. "We're going to be working together and it would be nice if we were at least amicable."

"We'll be working together in the sense that I'm doing the work and you're going about your business," Marlowe said. "This is not a movie project. There will be no meetings, script notes, conference calls or explanatory emails. I do my job and when I'm done, I call you." Now that he'd met her, he almost wanted to get fired.

Kendra glared. Marlowe knew what she was thinking. Nobody talks to Kendra James that way, not with a billion dollars in ticket sales on her résumé. She was probably on the verge of saying do you know who I am? Marlowe had seen a video of her saying that to a highway patrolman. It sounded terrible. She might as well have said, I am a world-famous celebrity and you're a turd on a motorcycle. Lucy brought their drinks out on a silver tray. Marlowe's coffee and a Bloody Mary for Kendra. She hadn't asked for one. Apparently, it was assumed.

"Thank you, Lucy," Marlowe said.

"Lucy, have you seen Pav?" Kendra asked.

"No, señora."

"He's supposed to take me to a premiere tomorrow night. I have to tell him he's working." She sipped her drink and sighed glumly. "I don't know. I might not go. I wish I had a movie out. What will I talk about?"

Lucy and Marlowe exchanged a glance and she went back inside. Kendra caught it and scowled.

"I can cut this short," Marlowe said. "If you wanted to talk about Terry's case, I can't help you. Your best bet is the police."

"No, this is not about that philandering dimwit, it's about his daughter, Cody. Two weeks ago, she ran away."

"Two weeks," Marlowe said. "The first of the month?"

"I suppose. She stays out overnight but never this long. I've tried to reach her, of course. Phone, email, I left messages. I'm really worried about her."

Marlowe's bullshit detector emitted a loud buzz. Kendra sounded urgent but not sincere.

"How old is Cody?" he asked.

"Seventeen but she comes off as older. I've reported it to the police but they don't look for runaways. It's ridiculous."

"Running away isn't a crime, there's no law to enforce. Do you have a picture?"

Kendra passed him her phone.

"This is pretty recent," she said. Cody was sitting on the hood of a car. She had a boyish figure, pale skin, high cheekbones and green eyes, her expression like a European model, faraway and indifferent. She wore black jeans, Gothy makeup and a T-shirt that said DAS BUNKER. Her hair was styled like a Japanese anime character. Short, dyed black with a purple sheen, jagged layers and jagged bangs angled over her eyebrows.

"I'll email you that one and some others," Kendra said. Somehow, Kendra had finished her drink without him noticing. She put some ice in her mouth and crunched it. She wants another one, Marlowe thought.

"What's Cody like?"

"She's spoiled rotten and not the least bit considerate, I'd like to lock her in the crate my dog used to sleep in."

"Did Cody and Terry get along?"

"Yes, they were very close. They talked about everything together. If I hadn't despised him I would have been jealous." She picked up her glass, tipped it back and drank the pink water at the bottom.


"Yes, Cody is very smart. She skipped a grade, takes AP classes but she hates school. She can be devious too. I watched her play poker with Terry's friends. She pretended she was a hapless little girl and cleaned them out."

"Any idea where Cody went?" Marlowe asked.

"No. She never said anything about her comings and goings," Kendra said as if the whole topic was boring. "Make an inquiry and Cody would say something vague and perfunctory. She was very secretive."

"Terry have any other kids?"

"Yes, a son. His name is Noah. Cody's opposite." Kendra's whole vibe changed, like she was proud to know him, to show him off. "He was an excellent student, polite and very good-looking," she said. "He's an athlete too. He's playing minor league baseball in Lancaster."

"Was Cody into drugs?" Marlowe asked.

"Weed, alcohol."

"That's all? You're sure."

Kendra huffed. "If it's one thing movie stars know about, it's drugs."

"Did Cody have a boyfriend? Girlfriend?"

"Cody had a fling with a girl but she needs a penis. I never met any of her dates but—oh yes, she did bring a boy here a couple of times. Roy something. What a loser. He was probably pathetic at conception. Noah talked to him. He said Roy was probably giving Cody money. Her allowance is generous but she was always broke."

"Did Noah and Cody get along?"

"No. They were like a reenactment of the war in Vietnam. Firefights and bombing runs for years on end."

"Why do you think Cody left?" Marlowe asked.

Kendra shrugged. "Why does a teenage girl do anything?" Kendra slapped her hand on the table and said, "Lucy, where are you?" She rose, chair scraping the deck, and marched inside. Marlowe could hear her talking, severe and reproachful. He wanted to drown her in the Labradoodle's tide pool. Kendra came out with a fresh Bloody Mary. Before she sat down, Marlowe said,

"I want to see Cody's room."

They went inside and walked down a long hall. It was lined with movie posters, Silverlake Story, Love Sucks, Never Say I Do, The Coach's Wife, and others. They were all romantic comedies. A couple of years ago, Kendra attempted to escape the tedious but lucrative typecasting by accepting the part of a real serial killer named Donna Ethridge. Ethridge lured seventeen men into her aging Winnebago and cracked their skulls open with an axe handle. The reviewer in the New York Times described Kendra's performance as "rather like watching my nine-year-old niece pretending to be a robot."

"How does my father know you?" Kendra asked.

"I'm not saying," Marlowe said. Her famous blue eyes flashed red.

"Why not?"

"For the same reason I won't talk about your case with him."

Cody's room was no more organized than a basket of dirty laundry. Random belongings scattered, stacked and flung everywhere. You could hardly see the floor. "I don't know what you can tell from this mess," Kendra said. Evidently, Cody liked clothes. A fortune's worth were strewn around, enough to wardrobe a movie about Ivanka Trump. Almost everything stupidly expensive. A $4,000 Fendi Peekaboo bag hanging on a chair. Marlowe had recovered one on a robbery case. A box labeled KINGSEAL. Probably sealskin shoes, Marlowe thought. Maybe they were waterproof. A MacBook Pro was stuck in the wastepaper basket, a lone Jimmy Choo waited on the windowsill. Such careless wealth, Marlowe thought. An oddity. A catcher's protective vest half under the bed. Noah played minor league baseball, it was obviously his. Stealing his equipment is a helluva way to punish your brother. The poor guy must have gone crazy looking for it. Kendra was bored. She went into the hall calling for another Bloody Mary.

There were also vintage T-shirts, clunky black Frankenstein shoes and studded belts. There were posters on the wall. Two bands. Rites of Spring and Moss Icon. One was of a sad Batman. The caption: My parents are dead. Marlowe looked in the bathroom. It was like the cosmetics counter at Bloomingdale's. A cluster of colored soaps in a silver bowl, the brands imprinted on them. Dior, Côte d'Azur, Elemis and Lava. Lava? There was also a lot of black makeup. Eye shadow, mascara, lipstick. Maybe that explained the Lava.

Kendra returned with another drink. "Christ, I had to go all the way to the kitchen."

"Did Cody have money?" Marlowe asked.

"She took a couple of hundred out of my bag, and maybe three out of my desk drawer," Kendra said. "She also stole Lucy's car."

"Did you replace the car?"

"Yes, I replaced it," Kendra said indignantly, muttering in a lower voice, "with a car of similar value."

"Similar value?" He laughed. "How much did you make on your last movie?"

"Fuck you, Marlowe."

Marlowe didn't like being here. The room was like a Goodwill store in Dubai. If Kendra weren't paying him so much he'd have left right after he met her.

"I have to go," he said.


  • One of the Wall Street Journal's Best Mystery Novels of the Year
    One of Apple's Best Books of the Year

    “How the hell do you write a mystery about Philip Marlowe, set it in Los Angeles, and still make it a total gobsmacking original? That’s the miracle of Joe Ide’s The Goodbye Coast. Ide has created a Philip Marlowe for the 2020s. And an L.A. that he clearly loves and hates.” —James Patterson
  • "Not so much a reimagining of Chandler's world as a reinvigoration. By transplanting Philip Marlowe to 2021 LA, Joe Ide has chiseled off the rust while keeping the soul of one of American fiction’s icons. The Goodbye Coast is a blast from start to finish.”
     —Dennis Lehane
  • "Sunshine and skullduggery, movie stars and mayhem -- Joe Ide brings us a Philip Marlowe who wears our twenty-first century like a well-cut suit."—Ian Rankin
  • "Raymond Chandler may have inspired him, but this Phillip Marlowe is all Joe Ide. I loved this sexy, twisted, complicated Marlowe--he's a perfect match for Ide's sexy, twisted, complicated City of Angels. What a gripping kick-ass book!"—Rachel Howzell Hall, bestselling author of These Toxic Things and Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist
  • Every character has great lines, and the descriptions alone make the story worth reading…. There is tension, violence, humor, and a bit of sadness, with romance just out of the hero’s reach. This one’s witty, clever, and fun, and it’s worthy of the great Raymond Chandler.”—Kirkus, Starred Review
  • "instead of emulating Chandler’s stylized first-person point of view, Ide used his trademark propulsive third-person narrative, entering the heads of multiple characters, including Marlowe’s father, Emmet, an aging LAPD officer, and Cody, a client’s missing teenage daughter. The prose is pure Ide, infused with whip-smart dialogue and fast-moving scenes throughout iconic Southern California hangouts."—Naomi Hirahara, The OC Register
  • "At first I was unsure about Emmet — his character seemed so outside of my idea of Marlowe. But through him Ide offers a thoughtful look at how Marlowe might have come to be the man he is, both in Chandler's books and in this one. It's good to have him back.”—Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times
  • "The talented Joe Ide… manifests Marlowe in the form of a present-day private investigator…. The laugh-out-loud dialogue, the vivid similes, the complicated story and the set-piece subplots are all vintage Chandler. The gripping flashbacks, the adrenaline-pumping action and the heart-piercing poignance show Mr. Ide at his best. ‘The Goodbye Coast’ delivers the distilled essence of both authors for the price of one."

    Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal
  • "If you haven’t yet read Joe Ide’s imagining of Philip Marlowe in “The Goodbye Coast,” you ought to."—Mike Lupica, New York Daily News
  • “With deft precision and the knowledge of a lifelong L.A. resident, Ide effortlessly inhabits the Marlowe character. Just as Chandler before him, Ide paints a gritty picture of contemporary L.A. and its inhabitants, while also allowing the reader to understand why a character like Marlowe tries so hard to fight back against those darker forces.”
     —Seth Combs, San Diego Union-Tribune
  • “This version of Raymond Chandler's iconic PI patrols the mean streets of contemporary Los Angeles, and while he shares the original's bone-deep iconoclasm, he's distinctly his own man, complete with a rich backstory… The sleuthing here is top notch, but it's the bantering father-son interplay (evoking Jim Rockford and father Rocky in The Rockford Files) that really gives the book its zip. More Marlowe and Emmet would be most welcome.” 
     —Booklist, starred
  • "This is one gritty-to-the-core novel, as clever as a Sherlock Holmes tale, and a rollercoaster thrill ride the entire way through."—Kate Ayers, Bookreporter
  • Ide (the IQ series) reimagines Raymond Chandler’s hard-boiled sleuth, Philip Marlowe, as a contemporary PI… Ide’s fans will appreciate the humor and evocative descriptions of L.A.”—Publishers Weekly

    "Joe Ide's IQ novels are an electrifying combination of Holmesian mystery and SoCal grit."—Time
  • "Ide is still the hottest of recently-emerged crime writers. He has populated Southern California with wildly entertaining characters, from those hinted at offstage to the motormouths whose priceless talk fills his pages."—Janet Maslin, New York Times
  • "As far as I'm concerned, Joe Ide can't write them fast enough."—Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
  • "Joe Ide expands the territory of L.A. noir."—Gal Beckerman, New York Times

On Sale
Mar 7, 2023
Page Count
336 pages
Mulholland Books

Joe Ide

About the Author

Joe Ide grew up in South Central Los Angeles and currently lives in Santa Monica, California. His IQ series has won the Anthony, Shamus and Macavity Awards, and been nominated for the Edgar, Barry, CWA New Blood Dagger and Strand Book Critics Awards. The IQ books are currently in development as an original TV series.

Learn more about this author