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Publisher's Summary

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.

Archer knows that 20 years ago a handful of dreamers and losers came together in the Barcelona. The only questions now are: What kind of deal went down there? And why were a mixed-up rich kid and a beautiful blonde the first to pay the price?

More mayhem? Try our other Lew Archer mysteries.
©1964 Ross Macdonald (P)1995 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Labyrinthine Shocker

Ross Macdonald's imagination, knowledge of the human psyche, and gift for 20th Century dialogue can probably be summed up best with two words: Literary Genius. His novels are absolutely addictive. I hate to see them end! This one is particularly affecting and mysterious to the last heart-breaking page. It's a masterpiece! But one titillating question remains: Will Lew Archer ever find love?

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Subtle and controlled

Ross Macdonald writes quite differently than the other masters of the genre. He gives very little insight into his detective's mind or feelings. The focus is on the other characters, the detective remaining a cypher who reports dispassionately. He seems depressed in a way. The book is very plot-driven. We see what Archer sees as he works through the events of the case. Lacks the humor and warmth of Rex Stout. Closer to Hammet but in a 1960s world. Very enjoyable for fans of detective stories with focus on plot, not personality of the detective. It's the opposite of Grafton or Christie.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Psycho action

Great development of mystery and character. Usual snappy dialogue from McDonald's, along with psychological portrayal that is just about successful