What are the main examples of corruption and justice in The Big Sleep?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Four major examples of crime and corruption in The Big Sleep are the following:

1. Arthur Gwynn Geiger is running a pornographic book store right on Hollywood Boulevard in the center of Hollywood. This is illegal at the time and the establishment is well known to the police, but they are doing nothing about it because they are getting paid off. Geiger is also a blackmailer and a dope dealer as well as a dealer in pornographic books. The District Attorney seems unconcerned when Marlowe tells him about the bookstore.

2. Eddie Mars is running a wide-open gambling casino in a place called Las Olindas somewhere south of Los Angeles. This too is completely against the law in California, but local sheriffs and their officers were getting paid off all over California to look the other way.

3. Philip Marlowe meets his informant at the office of Puss Walgreen which is actually a bookie joint but advertises itself as an insurance agency. This place is also known to the police but pays for protection.

4. Marlowe has a deadly encounter with Lash Canino at Art Huck's Garage about forty miles east of L.A. This garage is described as a "hot car drop," a place where stolen cars are repainted and resold. This business is probably known to the local law enforcement authorities.