Inherent Vice is a novel by American author Thomas Pynchon, originally published in August 2009. A darkly comic detective novel set in 1970s California, the plot follows sleuth Larry "Doc" Sportello whose ex-girlfriend asks him to investigate a scheme involving a prominent land developer. Themes of drug culture and counterculture are prominently featured. Critical reception was largely positive, with reviewers describing Inherent Vice as one of Pynchon's more accessible works. The novel was adapted into a 2014 film of the same name.