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In an important literary discovery, Macdonald biographer, Tom Nolan, unearthed three previously unpublished private-eye stories by Ross Macdonald.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."