A spoof on the classic noir set in 1947 San Francisco, where protagonist Sammy falls for a blonde bombshell named Stilton, or the Cheese, whilst a UFO is rumored to be hovering along the Pacific coast in Washington State near Mount Rainer.
I have to admit that on occasion I've found some of Moore's work a little silly. In this case though he's spot on. His characters are just the right side of over done. So while some might verge on the cartoonish, we soon realize there is more to them than initially meets the eye. Of course it doesn't hurt that the story, and the intricate plots which keep it spinning over, are examples of Moore's imagination at its finest. While the absurdities come fast and furious... they're all part and parcel of the plot. No matter how far-fetched something might appear to be at first, within the context of the story everything fits together perfectly.
Moore is a master of metaphor and a sultan of simile and, well, a fine describer of the shriek that finding your boss dead might elicit (even if the mechanics of rushing into a burning building penis-first seem ill-advised). One of the great pleasures in Noir is trying to decipher the myriad comparisons that Moore employs, which are often nonsensical but no less entertaining for the effort ... In keeping with the noir style, there are many divergent plotlines that ultimately have to be tied up, and Moore’s solution — no spoilers here — is unique to the genre.
...Moore has produced a book that’s moodier than his usually snappy fare. For his cast of characters, occupying the lower levels and the margins of society, postwar America is a place of job shortages, housing shortages and 'broken veterans' as well as racial prejudice and sexual exploitation ... Lest any of Moore’s regular readers think he’s gone sappy, it’s worth noting that he’s as silly as ever ... Noir is a sad and daffy and wacky, and surprisingly heartfelt, novel.