An alcoholic ne’er-do-well poses as a private detective on a whim, but may be in over his head.
Mark Ready hasn’t done much with his life- he’s an alcoholic and a drug user who mostly dozes away his life, marginally employed as caretaker of a rich friend’s house and boat. When Susan Moore mistakes him for Warren Lane, the tough, hardboiled private investigator she had intended to hire to get evidence of her husband Will’s adulterous affairs, Ready cheerfully accepts the case – and Lane’s identity – on a whim, out of sympathy for her. But Will is more than just a mere cheater, and the real Warren Lane is investigating him too. Can Ready’s well-meaning impersonation end up doing more good than harm?
WARREN LANE is a quirky, funny tale with a farcical sense of humor and a tenderly sentimental undercurrent. Ready, despite his apathy and incompetence, is a likeable, charming hero, and Ella, Will’s mistress, has a gritty toughness that keeps her needy vulnerability from being annoying. Will retains just enough humanity to make the breakup of his marriage to Susan bittersweet, and Warren Lane provides the easy-to-despise villain. The plot has enough unexpected surprises to keep things interesting until the very last page, upending all the characters’ lives with mischievous delight not unmixed with sympathy. The ending may be a bit too cloyingly sweet for some, and there is an element of male wish-fulfillment to the story, given how easily Mark, who has almost nothing but a pretty face and a bit of kindness to recommend him, gets attractive women to fall hopelessly in love with him.
WARREN LANE is a charming comedy of errors, with a good heart and a light touch.