I have been reading Ross MacDonald novels for over forty years now, and am currently in the process of rereading them all. In my view, he is the greatest of the thousands of American (he was Canadian, actually) detective novelists and the novels seem stronger now than when they first appeared forty or fifty years ago. MacDonald's detective Lew Archer is one of the most interesting of all fictional investigators, tough, smart, sensitive, and all too human. MacDonald is a great storyteller, and the plots are dazzling. What strikes me most after all of these years is the beauty of his very spare style, and his note-perfect recreation of post-war California. Every book from The Doomsters (1958) on is a masterpiece of the genre, and the five early Lew Archer novels are impressive, too, especially The Barbarous Coast. He is really writing Greek tragedies, under the guise of mystery thrillers. The Far Side of the Dollar is one of the gems of the whole series. I can't recommend this work too highly for anyone who appreciates literate detective fiction.