The Underground Man (Lew Archer Series #16)

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Overview

As a mysterious fire rages through the hills above a privileged town in Southern California, 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...

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The Underground Man: A Lew Archer Novel

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Overview

As a mysterious fire rages through the hills above a privileged town in Southern California, 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.

If any writer can be said to have inherited the mantle of Dashiell Hammet and Raymond Chandler, it was 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 predecessors 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A more serious and complex writer than Chandler and Hammett ever were."- Eudora Welty

"Ross Macdonald is an important American novelist!"- San Francisco Chronicle

"I should like to venture that Ross Macdonald is a better novelist than either... Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler."-  Anthony Boucher, The New York Times Book Review

Anthony Boucher
I should like to venture that Ross MacDonald is a better novelist than either…Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler.
The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679768081
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/28/1996
  • Series: Lew Archer Series , #16
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 689,512
  • Product dimensions: 5.14 (w) x 8.01 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Ross Macdonald's real name was Kenneth Millar.  Born near San Francisco in 1915 and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Millar returned to the U.S. as a young man and published his first novel in 1944.  He served as the President of the Mystery Writers of America and was awarded their Grand Master Award, as well as the Mystery Writers of Great Britain's Silver Dagger Award.  He died in 1983.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted July 27, 2014

    Quite likely one of the greatest noir novels ever written. Macd

    Quite likely one of the greatest noir novels ever written. Macdonald tackles not only the ecological destruction by men of the planet but exposes the filthiness of the inherent nastiness of people. Along with Chandler's The Long Goodbye, this is the best of the genre. Macdonald hearkens the philosophical arguments of Hobbes, that man, in the state of nature, is an evil mess bent on accumulating whatever he can with little regard for methods or bloody trails. Archer, Macdonald's detective, serves as the author's voice, who, with a critical and jaundiced eye, stays above the fray with a moral superiority that seems false.

    This is both a fantastic novel - tightly plotted, shocking, full of passages that demand rereading, and descriptive beyond mention - and a social critique of the highest order.

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