I am seriously behind on my review of Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon. This book came out in August of LAST YEAR. Oops. The reason why I decided to review it, even though it is not exactly a new release, is because it was really, really good. Since it is old, you can probably buy it for cheap, silver lining.
Doc Sportello is an extremely likable main character, probably because he's a detective who's solving crimes while stoned all over southern California during the psychedelic early 70's. He hears from an old girlfriend who asks him to investigate the disappearance of an unscrupulous businessman whose bodyguard has turned up dead. Doc's investigations take him on a harrowing ride through various dark corners of the surf scene, often due to the machinations of a police officer called Bigfoot, with whom Doc has an uneasy relationship. After some crazy plot twists and even crazier women, Doc seems on the verge of uncovering a vast underworld conspiracy known as the Golden Fang.
Inherent Vice has everything you could possibly want in a detective thriller - drugs, sex, paranoia, pop culture, zombies, politics, more drugs - the works. And it wouldn't be a real detective novel without a quick jaunt to Vegas.