Lew Archer #1
The first book in Ross Macdonald’s acclaimed Lew Archer series introduces the detective who redefined the role of the American private eye and gave the crime novel a psychological depth and moral complexity only hinted at before.
Like many Southern California millionaires, Ralph Sampson keeps odd company. There’s the sun-worshipping holy man whom Sampson once gave his very own mountain; the fading actress with sidelines in astrology and S&M. Now one of Sampson’s friends may have arranged his kidnapping.
As Lew Archer follows the clues from the canyon sanctuaries of the megarich to jazz joints where you get beaten up between sets, The Moving Target blends sex, greed, and family hatred into an explosively readable crime novel.
Lew Archer #19 No matter what cases private eye Lew Archer takes on – a burglary, a runaway, or a disappeared person – the trail always leads to tangled family secrets and murder. Widely considered the heir to Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe, Archer dug up secrets and bodies in and around Los Angeles. Here, The Archer Files collects all the Lew Archer short stories ever published, along with thirteen unpublished “case notes” and a fascinating biographical profile of Archer by Edgar Award finalist Tom Nolan. Ross Macdonald’s signature staccato prose is the real star throughout this collection, which is both a perfect introduction for the newcomer and a must-have for the Macdonald aficionado. – From the Trade Paperback edition.
He was a son who hadn’t known his father very well. It was a town shaken by a grisly murder – his father’s murder. Johnny Weather was home from a war and wandering. When he found out that his father had been assassinated on a street corner and that his father’s seductive young wife had inherited a fortune, he started knocking on doors. The doors came open, and Johnny stepped into a world of gamblers, whores, drug-dealers, and blackmailers, a place in which his father had once moved freely. Now Johnny Weather was going to solve this murder – by pitting his rage, his courage, and his lost illusions against the brutal underworld that has overtaken his hometown.
On the home front, two wartime lovers reunite under a cloud of paranoiaIn 1937 Munich, an American must be careful when he smokes his pipe. Robert Branch, a careless academic, makes the mistake of lighting up when the Füchrer is about to begin a procession, and nearly gets pummeled for his mistake. Only the timely intervention of Ruth Esch, a flame-haired actress, saves him. So begins a month-long romance between East and West – a torrid affair that ends when the lovers make the mistake of defending a Jew, earning Branch a beating and Esch a trip to a concentration camp. Six years later, Esch escapes to Vichy and makes her way to Detroit. To her surprise, Branch is waiting for her. He is a professor, working for the war effort, and his paranoia about a spy inside the Motor City War Board sours their reunion. Once again, a dangerous net is encircling these lovers – a reminder that, in this war, love always comes second to death.
In the last days of World War II, a sailor discovers a transcontinental conspiracy. It is February 1945, and the war in the Pacific is nearing its climax. In Hawaii on his way to a new post, US Navy ensign Sam Drake stumbles across the girl of his dreams. Mary is a disc jockey, with a voice that’s famous across the islands for playing late-night jazz that no young lover can resist. Before he can follow this modern siren home, they go to check on Mary’s coworker Sue – but that lovely young lady will never spin another record. They find her strung up and dangling outside the window of a bathroom, her face twisted into an ugly mask. The police call it suicide, but Sam is not so sure. Few beautiful women, even suicidal ones, are willing to be so hideous in death. Looking into Sue’s past, he finds another corpse – and a dangerous conspiracy that stretches all the way back to his Motor City home.
Seven stories of Lew Archer’s investigations.
Lew Archer #17 In Sleeping Beauty, Lew Archer finds himself the confidant of a wealthy, violent family with a load of trouble on their hands – including an oil spill, a missing girl, a lethal dose of Nembutal, a six-figure ransom, and a stranger afloat, face down, off a private beach. Here is Ross Macdonald's masterful tale of buried memories, the consequences of arrogance, and the anguished relations between parents and their children. Riveting, gritty, tautly written, Sleeping Beauty is crime fiction at its best. If any writer can be said to have inherited the mantle of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, it is Ross Macdonald. Between the late 1940s and his death in 1983, he gave the American crime novel a psychological depth and moral complexity that his pre-decessors had only hinted at. And in the character of Lew Archer, Macdonald redefined the private eye as a roving conscience who walks the treacherous frontier between criminal guilt and human sin.
Prywant detektyw, Lew Archer, otrzymuje typowe zlecenie: ma odnaleźć obraz skradziony z zamożnego domu Biemeyerów. Obraz jest dziełem kalifornijskiego malarza, który rozgłos i sławę zdobył dopiero po swym tajemniczym zniknięciu. W trakcie poszukiwania zaginionego arcydzieła wychodzą na jaw tajemnice bohaterów. Archer stopniowo rozwiązuje zagadkę. Reakcją na jego działania jest seria makabrycznych zbrodni.
Ross Macdonald (1915–1983) was, according to The New York Times, the author of "the finest detective novels ever written by an American." His detective, Lew Archer, investigates character and place and the tensions and conflicts that form America. In Ross Macdonald's hands, Lew Archer's home turf, southern California, becomes symbolic and (perhaps more important) emblematic of the human struggle to make things right, to make sense of who we are.
In an important literary discovery, Macdonald biographer, Tom Nolan, unearthed three previously unpublished private-eye stories by Ross Macdonald. "Death by Water," written in 1945, features Macdonald's first detective Joe Rogers, and two novelettes from 1950 and 1955, "Strangers in Town" and "The Angry Man," are detailed cases of Lew Archer.
These 'lost' stories help the reader to understand why The New York Times also said that "classify him how you will, Ross Macdonald is one of the best American novelists now operating."
The desert air is hot with sex and betrayal, death and madness and only Archer can make sense of a killer who makes murder a work of art.
Finding a purloined portrait of a leggy blonde was supposed to be an easy paycheck for Detective Lew Archer, but that was before the bodies began piling up. Suddenly, Archer find himself smack in the middle of a decades-long mystery of a brilliant artist who walked into the desert and simply disappeared. He left behind a bevy of muses, molls, dolls, and dames-each one scrambling for what they thought was rightfully theirs.
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. In The Drowning Pool, 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.
It was a long way from the million-dollar Foothill Club to Pelly Street, where grudges were settled in blood and Spanish and a stolen diamond ring landed a girl in jail. Defense lawyer Bill Gunnarson was making the trip – fast. He already knew a kidnapping at the club was tied to the girl's hot rock, and he suspected that a missing Hollywood starlet was the key to a busy crime ring. But while Gunnarson made his way through a storm of deception, money, drugs, and passions, he couldn't guess how some big shots and small-timers would all end up with murder in common…
Hillerman, author of the Joe Leaphorn mysteries, and Herbert, editor of The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing, trace this short-story genre from its beginnings in the hands of Edgar Allen Poe through its development by the likes of Erle Stanley Gardner, Mary Roberts Rinehart and Anthony Boucher to its current practice by such masters as Marcia Muller. Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," which established a great many of the whodunit conventions, is indispensable to such an overview. Raymond Chandler's "I'll be Waiting" emits a doom-laden atmosphere right from the first line; William Faulkner shows unexpected economy of language?and a transparent plot?in "An Error in Chemistry." Ed McBain scores high marks in "Small Homicide," in which the tiny details of a baby's untimely death resonate uncomfortably. As represented in this competent, unstartling collection, Linda Barnes ("Lucky Penny") easily outsasses Sue Grafton ("The Parker Shotgun"). Hillerman makes a solid appearance with "Chee's Witch," and in "Benny's Space" Muller captures the full subtle force of her novel-length vision.