The Library of America caps its three-volume edition of the writer who stands with Hammett and Chandler as a master of the modern crime novel
A crucial inspiration for such writers as Sue Grafton and George Pelecanos, Ross Macdonald gives a culminating demonstration of his transformation of the detective novel into a literary expression of unique psychological depth and drama in this final volume of the Library of America’s definitive edition of his works. From his vantage point in southern California—and through the eyes of his great creation, private eye Lew Archer—Macdonald cast a shadowy vision of modern America, drawing on both the turmoil of his private life and on the inequities, injustices, and simmering anxieties of the society around him for raw material. In Black Money, Archer is hired to find a wealthy man gone missing and soon finds himself investigating a suspicious seven-year-old suicide. The Instant Enemy begins with Archer’s search for a runaway teenage daughter and her troubled, possibly murderous boyfriend, a search that uncovers a morass of hidden wrongs. In The Goodbye Look a burglary investigation takes a more drastic turn with the discovery of a body in an abandoned car on a beach. In The Underground Man, a raging wildfire stirred by the Santa Ana winds serves as prelude to a chain of kidnapping and murder in which nihilistic youthful rebellion is pitted against the hypocrisies and depravities of the previous generation.