The Singing Detective is the complete screenplay of a 6 part British TV series of the same name. I've not seen the TV series, but from reading the screenplay, I can tell that it is far more like a Cubist painting by Braque than it is any straightforward telling of a mystery story. If you liked The Usual Suspects and can imagine it as a screenplay, the result would look a lot like The Singing Detective.
The story follows a young man named Philip Marlowe through to his last days in a British hospital. It introduces us to his family, friends, wife through a series of flashbacks and scene shifts which happen chop-a-block throughout the tale. Reading this book, I'm reminded strongly of the protagonist in Vonnegut's Sirens of Titan, who got unstuck in time and is constantly shifted forwards and backwards along his time line for brief periods before he is off to another spot on his time line.
There's a murder, there's robbery, there's connivance, and there is most certainly deceit in this tale. In some sense, it is just a microsm of human foibles, told without any adornment.
At the end, I was glad I read the screenplay, but it made me realize that watching the series is likely to be far more rewarding.