As private eye Lew Archer follows the clues from the canyon sanctuaries of the megarich to jazz joints where you can get beaten up between sets, The Moving Target blends sex, greed, misdirected love, and family hatred into an explosive crime novel.
"A good, not great start to a terrific series."
Has Tom Hillman run away from his exclusive reform school, or has he been kidnapped? Are his wealthy parents protecting him or their own guilty secrets? And why does every clue lead Lew Archer to an abandoned Hollywood hotel, where starlets and sailors once rubbed shoulders with tycoons and hustlers? The once-popular palace is now boarded up. But for Archer, it may hold the key to a missing teenager and a hot murder.
"Subtle and controlled"
A hard-faced woman clad in a blue mink stole and dripping with diamonds hires Lew Archer to track down her former maid, who she claims has stolen her jewelry. Archer can tell he’s being fed a line, but curiosity gets the better of him and he accepts the case. He tracks the wayward maid to a ramshackle motel in a seedy, run-down small town, but finds her dead in her tiny room, with her throat slit from ear to ear. Archer digs deeper into the case and discovers a web of deceit and intrigue, with crazed number-runners from Detroit, gorgeous triple-crossing molls, and a golden-boy shipping heir who’s gone mysteriously missing.
"A classic that still works"
The era is the 1970s; the setting is Southern California. Lew Archer has been hired to retrieve a stolen canvas reputed to be the work of the celebrated Richard Chantry, who vanished in 1950 from his home in Santa Teresa. It is the portrait of an unknown woman.
"McDonald still has it!"
In The Barbarous Coast, Lew Archer's pursuit of a girl who jackknifed too suddenly from high diving to high living leads him to an ex-fighter with an unexplained movie contract, a big-time gambler who died by his own knife, and finally to an answer he would rather not have known.
Phoebe Wycherly was missing two months before her wealthy father hired Archer to find her. That was plenty of time for a young girl who wanted to disappear to do so thoroughly—or for someone to make her disappear. And before he could locate the Wycherly girl, Archer had to reckon with the Wycherly woman, Phoebe’s mother, an eerily unmaternal blonde who kept too many residences, had too many secrets, and left too many corpses in her wake.
"Classic (not boring) Gumshoe"
When Lew Archer is hired to get the goods on the suspiciously suave Frenchman who's run off with his client's girlfriend, it looks like a simple case of alienated affections. Things look different when the mysterious foreigner turns out to be connected to a seven-year-old suicide and a mountain of gambling debts.
"Good book, great reader"
Lew Archer knew he shouldn't have taken the case, but Alex Kincaid seemed so desperate. Kincaid's loving new bride, Dolly, had just inexplicably walked out on him, leaving Kincaid more than a little fearful for her sanity and her safety. So Archer reluctantly agreed to help Kincaid find his wife.
"good entree to the Hard Boiled"
When a millionaire matriarch is found floating face down in the family pool, the prime suspects are her good-for-nothing son and his seductive teenage daughter. Private investigator Lew Archer takes this case in the L.A. suburbs and encounters a moral wasteland of corporate greed and family hatred - and sufficient motive for a dozen murders.
Almost 20 years have passed since Anthony Galton disappeared, along with a suspiciously streetwise bride and several thousand dollars of his family’s fortune. Now Anthony’s aging and very rich mother wants him back and has hired Lew Archer to find him. What turns up is a headless skeleton, a boy who claims to be Galton’s son, and a con game whose stakes are so high that someone is still willing to kill for them.
"Dances down the same streets as Hammett & Chandler"
Meet Me at the Morgue is the story of a kidnapping that led to four murders. In his search for the killer, Howard Cross digs deep into the Los Angeles underworld, finding along the way a beautiful, lost adolescent mourning a dead lover, a suitcase hidden under an aging sadist's bed, and a slovenly gentleman with an ice pick in his neck. Ross Macdonald has never written a story quite like this, and neither has anyone else.
"Classic crime noir"
Strictly speaking, Lew Archer is only supposed to dig up the dirt on a rich man's suspicious soon-to-be son-in-law. But in no time at all, Ross Macdonald's private eye is following a trail of corpses from the citrus belt to Mazatlan. And then there is the zebra-striped hearse and its crew of beautiful, sunburned surfers, whose path seems to keep crossing the son-in-law's - and Archer's - in this powerful, fast-paced novel of murder on the California coast.
As a mysterious fire rages through the hills above a privileged town in Southern California, Lew Archer tracks a missing child who may be the pawn in a marital struggle or the victim of a bizarre kidnapping. What he uncovers amid the ashes is murder - and a trail of motives as combustible as gasoline. The Underground Man is a detective novel of merciless suspense and tragic depth, with an unfaltering insight into the moral ambiguities at the heart of California's version of the American dream.
"Ross Macdonald in Top Form"
When Lew Archer stops for a hitchhiker and finds a young man dying of a gunshot wound, he knows he has stumbled into a mess. In a matter of hours he is suspected by the law, hired by a target-shooting trucking magnate, and chasing a hijacked load of hooch and a band of sinners on the loose.
"Another mystery masterpiece!"
The young Lennox heiress - glimpsed for a haunting moment on the beach, clutching an oil-drenched sea bird in her arms - has disappeared, and while on her trail, Archer finds himself journeying into the hidden lives of a family twisted by money, power, and a compulsive instinct for infidelity.
Doctor Robert Branch was a university professor, not a secret agent. But his best friend was dead and Branch knew that it couldn't have been suicide. He was also certain that the murder had been arranged by a Nazi espionage group operating on campus. The only trouble was, no one would believe him. Branch knew that the Nazis would have him eliminated as soon as it was convenient.
"Read Lew Archer series first"
Meet Me at the Morgue is the story of a kidnapping that led to four murders. In his search for the killer, Howard Cross digs deep into the Los Angeles underworld, finding along the way a beautiful, lost adolescent mourning a dead lover, a suitcase hidden under an aging sadist's bed, and a slovenly gentleman with an ice pick in his neck. Ross MacDonald has never written a story quite like this, and neither has anyone else.
An incredible true story of a young nurse working in the East End of London during the Second World War.In 1938, 18-year-old Phyllis Ellsworth packs her bags, says good-bye to her anxious parents and sets off from her quiet seaside home for the Hackney Hospital in London's bustling East End, where she is to fulfill her dream to train as a nurse. At first it is a whirlwind of long days, hard work, new friends and plenty of mischief....
"Left me wanting to know more!"
Manchmal scheint Privatdetektiv Lew Archer das Unheil geradezu anzuziehen: Im Zug nach Los Angeles lernt er ein junges, hübsches Mädchen kennen...