• The Dark Tunnel

  • By: Ross MacDonald
  • Narrated by: Tom Parker
  • Length: 7 hrs and 1 min
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (208 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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. He'd even narrowed his choice of executioner down to three: a psychotic homosexual, a respected educator, and the woman he loved.

The Dark Tunnel was originally published in 1944 under Ross Macdonald's real name, Kenneth Millar.

More mayhem? Listen to our other Ross Macdonald mysteries.
©1944 Kenneth Millar (P)1998 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Ross Macdonald gives to the detective story that accent of class that the late Raymond Chandler did." (Chicago Tribune)

What listeners say about The Dark Tunnel

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Read Lew Archer series first

Written during WWII, Ross MacDonald's spy thriller is only partly satisfying. The plot is only so-so and the protagonist is less than believable, but the distinctive writing style clearly establishes MacDonald as a force to be reckoned with. As a writer, MacDonald only comes into his own in the Lew Archer series. Readers new to MacDonald should read all of the Lew Archer books first. After that, savor this little book for what it is: a early effort by someone who would go on to be a great writer.

8 people found this helpful

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🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

WOW what a great 👍 book I loved the style and time period the story was in it kept you interested and on the edge of your set the hole way threw really great book. 5 stars for me

1 person found this helpful

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Dated

Annoying historical and geographical inaccuracies, "Freeway" in the middle of WWII that wasn't built in Michigan until the 1960's. 90 mph down same freeway when WWII fuel saving speed limit was 35. House built on the edge of a "cliff" in dead flat SE Michigan. Etc...

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surprisingly great

I highly recommend anything by Ken Millar / Ross Macdonald. The Narrator is an alias for the great Grover Gardner. Story was gritty and fast paced.

1 person found this helpful

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Classic 40’s Murder Mystery

Authentic, rough, heartwarmingly politically incorrect (by today’s standards), witty, humorous, tragic, and well worth reading. I’d liken it to Jack Webb with a postgraduate degree.

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Good story with old school manno

Really enjoyed the book, especially the humor that gets going during the latter half of the story.

Too bad they don’t write like this anymore.

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RM at his early best

Loved the twists of this novel with a university setting. Not a spoiler, but except for the barn square dance sequence, it is very solid structurally.

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History mystery

Well written early MacDonald effort, this book is most fun for its WWII historical perspective: set in 1943 Ann Arbor. It's a weird hybrid of countrified noir with national and university politics. Unusual, sometimes silly, but it captures the wartime mentality and cultural forces.

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Great first novel

This is Ross MacDonald's first novel, before he started his Lew Archer series. It's a good start. The main character uncovers a possible German spy scandal in a university town in the late in 1937. Overall, excellent, though the second half of the book gets increasingly complicated. And of course, some parts are a bit outdated. Still very worthwhile. MacDonald taught at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor which helps him with the setting and politics of a university environment.

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College is Murder

Nazi spies infiltrate a college staff during WWII. A college professor helps the FBI bring them to justice. Lots of twists, a MacDonald trademark.