Re your comment below:
"Dewey is not following the Chandler blueprint. If anything, Mac has more in common with the Op than with Marlowe."
Let's see. Mac is an (1) unmarried, (2) male, (3) American, (4) ex-cop, (5) who runs his own one-man agency out of (6) a large US city, who (7) tells his stories in the first person. All seven of the elements of the "Marlowe Paradigm." And, tellingly, when Dewey chose a title that was meant to evoke the author he found most influential, the title he used was THE MEAN STREETS, which, in a short note at the beginning of the book, he specifically credited as coming from the TSAM essay.
By contrast, the Op is not an ex-cop, works for a huge agency modeled on the Pinkertons, and his creator never waxed elegeic about the nature of heroism.
Maybe Dewey wasn't channeling Chandler when he wrote, but he sure seemed to think he was.
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