By the end of the novel there have been three violent murders, and Archer must go down several false alleys and deal with many red herrings before unmasking the true killer and finding where Phoebe has been. One of his main conditions for the search: Archer should not try to get in touch with his ex-wife and girl's mother. It is about as perfect as a private-eye novel could be; the characters are strong and well-described, the plot is complex and perfect in its execution. MacDonald writes so well I always look forward to reading him, despite the unvarying nature of his style and plotting. I was turned on to Ross MacDonald by Eudora Welty.
Time to look for more of the same! It flows smoothly, a real page turner, hard to put down. But I rank this as one of the better mysteries from the sixties and beyond, it has a few memorable characters and scenes and as always MacDonald writes like a dream and is still able to put together a hard-boiled description or sentence that will have you smiling. A worthy entry in the series. Sounds all English major, doesn't it? His first books, patterned on Hammett and Chandler, were at once vivid chronicles of a postwar California and elaborate retellings of Greek and other classic myths. Worth a try even if you don't like mysteries or detective novels College senior Phoebe Wycherly has gone missing and her wealthy father, California oilman Homer Wycherly is desperate to find her. I do not agree with some other reviewers who think that certain aspects are very unlikely.
May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. The milieu is not a pleasant one, but in this morally complex environment there are characters to pity and those to admire, at least partially. That was plenty of time for a young girl who wanted to disappear to do so thoroughly--or for someone to make her disappear. Even his regular readers seldom saw a Macdonald denouement coming. Some of these appear in quite a few of the Archers. It is about as perfect as a private-eye novel could be; the characters are strong and well-described, the plot is complex and perfect in its execution.
As Archer steadfastly pursues the facts behind Phoebe's disappearance, the suspense builds and builds. I've yet to read a Lew Archer book whose plot could be described in just a few short sentences. The family is to take a metaphor from the book like one of those chocolate apples that break into pieces when you tap them. But beyond the mystery story aspects, no other mystery novelist that I am aware of has so many clever descriptions, insightful observations, compelling similes, and such deep observations on the human condition. Did he want her badly enough to commit murder? Allerdings wird er ungehalten, als die Sprache auf seine Ex-Frau kommt. It's just that Ross Macdonald may just have been one of the best one's who ever told it.
The suspense comes mainly from watching the detective work, to me. Gardner, is a real man. This one though has Archer going from witness to potential witness picking up the pieces and sometimes not doing a good job of that , with nearly every single person he meets already near the bottom of a downward spiral. Well, after poking around a bit here and there, Archer discovers that the last time anyone had seen Phoebe was on the day her father sailed off. This is hard-boiled detective writing at the top of its form.
At this time, he wrote under the name John Macdonald, in order to avoid confusion with his wife, who was achieving her own success writing as Margaret Millar. The Lew Archer novels are recognized as some of the most significant American mystery books of the mid 20th century, bringing a literary sophistication to the genre. In many ways this book surpasses both of those to me great writers. A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. Homer has been away on a long cruise to the orient, and upon returning has just realized that no one has heard from Phoebe in two months. Because of this we take care in describing the condition of each book in as much detail as possible, images provided are of the actual book. A daughter of a wealthy man is kidnapped.
I've yet to read a Lew Archer book whose plot could be described in just a few short sentences. Lew Archer is hired to track her down. Ich ertappe mich dabei, selbst schon fast zu glauben, Phoebe sei meine Tochter. And what does Phoebe's college roommate know? According to Homer, Phoebe left the ship with Catherine and is not seen again. When his father abandoned his family unexpectedly, Macdonald lived with his mother and various relatives, moving several times by his 16th year. He also learns that Catherine had a visitor who she fought frequently fought with.
Lastly, may be missing components, e. Lew Archer is a great addition, using his brains and brawn to resolve it all. Possible clean ex-library copy, with their stickers and or stamp s. But his best friend was dead and Branch knew that it couldn't have been suicide. For me this was the book which finally made me say that Ross Macdonald is the grand-master when it comes to this particular trope: According to one of my friends who read his biography, Macdonald grew up in not what one would call a perfect family exactly, so he knew first-hand some of the things he wrote about.
It is about as perfect as a private-eye novel could be; the characters are strong and well-described, the plot is complex and perfect in its execution. Basically I can give you a rundown of the first half of the book just to give you an idea of the tangled thread of menace that saturates the Archer novels. Red cloth in black, pictorial dust jacket. Ross MacDonald Kenneth Millar didn't write easy novels. It's like trying to tell someone the plot of Inland Empire. This novel, from 1961, about mid-point in the series, proves no different. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading.