According to the latest scientific research sharks can smell a drop of blood in a volume of water about the size of a backyard swimming pool (Google is your friend).
Sounds impressive? Not so much if you think that when it comes to sense of smell sharks smelling blood have nothing on organized crime smelling money.
Lots of money buys laws and once you do it you are no longer a criminal; you are a highly respected citizen. In fact you become more respected than any low peon who busts his back trying to make an honest living. What was (and still is) one of the places in US in the middle of the last century with great amount of money? Washington first and foremost but let us not forget this place which comes close second:
Thus we are talking about Hollywood, big money, mobsters, movie and TV stars, corruption, high-level lifestyle and everything in between. A guy in Hollywood hired Lew Archer for a bodyguard job. Archer really hates such jobs - and for a reason too: everything I know about them shows person being guarded always turn out to be too stupid to live with a strong desire to make the guarding job as difficult exciting as possible. Sorry, I got carried away. Coming back to the book, a couple of pages later Archer had to take another client for a very innocent-sounding job. Usual noir fun followed.
I noticed something curious reading this novel - this also relates to other books of the series, but to a lesser degree. Most of the people who got killed had been really asking for this, persistently and I can think of only one possible exception this time. Let me put it the following way. Imagine the following situation: suppose I work for an insurance company (I do not by the way) and somebody comes to me to buy a life insurance saying his/her main source of income is a blackmail of a crime boss. Guess what? I would not touch this case with a ten foot pole: there are better ways to throw company's money away.
Overall this is a good mystery with interesting characters in very colorful places; not outstanding but good enough to warrant 4 stars. Next book of the series, here I go!