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Publisher's Summary

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. But what he found instead was enough to send a chill down anyone's spine: a new, fresh corpse and evidence linking Dolly not only to this murder, but to a series of others dating back to before she was born.

Winner of the Mystery Writer of America Grand Master Award, Ross Macdonald is acknowledged around the world as one of the greatest mystery writers of our time.

More mayhem? Try our other Lew Archer mysteries.
©1963 Ross Macdonald (P)1996 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The plot is one of Macdonald's most masterfully constructed....The Chill stands out among his books." (Amazon.com)
"An entertainment of almost Byzantine complexity in which practically nothing is as the facts would seem....Highly satisfactory." (The New Yorker)

What listeners say about The Chill

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • G.
  • 05-28-09

good entree to the Hard Boiled

THE CHILL, or the author Ross Macdonald was recommended to me as a good entree to the "hard boiled" detective novel. The book was written I think a good fifty years ago, so there is a moment of adjusting to that stylistic time. Well worth it though since a tight, yet complex story emerges in the gritty underbelly of a time when California was a blossom. If this isn't doesn't catch your interest, pass--but if you've wanted to know the origins of our favorite detectives you will be entertained.

7 people found this helpful

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Complicated

A complex whodunit but it all comes together beautifully in the end. Slight spoiler alert, perhaps only Freud or the Greek gods could have seen this one coming. Loved it!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

A Classic! Like Raymond Chandler at his finest!!

A winding mystery with unexpected twists and turns that will have you spellbound to the very end. Masterfully performed, you'll feel like you've immersed yourself in the best of film noir as the words jump to life in your imagination!

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Ross MacDonald is the high king of hard-boiled

Ross Macdonald might write Chandleresque noir as good or better than Chandler. Some of the lines from 'The Chill' were so sharp they could cut a day into dark chocolate, bite-sized hours. 'The Chill' had a pretty good twist at the end. The only downside to the novel was it almost needed an overcoat with extra pockets for all the characters. By the end, I needed a small pocket book to keep all femme fatales and dead women straight.

Like most Macdonald novels, the dénouement of 'the Chill' seems to snake into your pants, squirm and bite you before you are quite ready for the book to end. That is one thing about Macdonald: he ties up ALL the snakes at the end.

There is a popular trope (often attributed to Brian Eno) that the Velvet Underground's first album only sold 30,000 copies during its first five years but that “everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band.” I think the same thing can be said about Macdonald. He was one of those writers who probably sold less than his talent deserved, but whose influence on the modern-day detective novel is practically unsurpassed. He was a writer's writer, the professor of pulp, the high king of hard-boiled, the prophet of classic myths retold as California crime fiction. He was a god and you bet you ass every single word was a sacred creation.

18 people found this helpful

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Brilliant plot

One of McDonald's best among so many good ones. Always a great twist at the end.

1 person found this helpful

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Maybe his best

Good plot line with a nice twist at the end. Numerous, marvelous, toss-off one liners that had me laughing, charmed by MacDonald’s skills with word-smithery. Excellent vocal performance, too.

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Runaway Bride

Hired to find a bride that disappeared on her wedding night, Archer stumbles onto three murders. One two decades earlier, one 10 years ago, and one he could prevent, but didn't.

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Ross MacDonald at his best

I am a great fan of Ross MacDonald and this is his best work. Beautifully read it will keep you up all night. It is a perfect plot flawlessly woven, brilliantly presented. Enjoy you won't ever read a better one.

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One of Ross McDonald’s best

I always like to start with the best. There doesn’t seem to be enough time to work my way up through all the beginning novels of an author until I get to the final or best novel. I had heard through my group that The Chill, The Galton Case and The Blue Hammer are Ross McDonald’s best novels. So I started with The Chill, which is very complex. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I tried The Galton Case next, but found it rather boring and unnecessarily grotesque with a body being found with its head cut off. That was a little too much for me. So I went onto the Blue Hammer which I finished yesterday, and thoroughly enjoyed so much that I had to go back and listen to the last two chapters again to make sure I understood all the complicated relationships. Wow. What a magnificent mystery!

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The Chill--Ross MacDonald is Very Cool!

Ross McDonald's Lew Archer is without an equal in today's private detective. These stories hold very well. Clean with tight dialog and sharp character development. A Great Story made even better by Voice Star Tom Parker.