on May 17, 1999
This is only the second book I have read by MacDonald but it certainly won't be the last. The plot and characterizations were both very strong. From what I have read so far, MacDonald compares very favorably with Hammett and Chandler. The thing that I probably like best about MacDonald is that his detective, Lew Archer, seems more like a real person than most of the detectives in this genre. He is tough, but he also shows some sensitivity and human emotion.
on January 2, 2001
This was my third Ross MacDonald/Lew Archer mystery and probably my last. As with all detective series type novels, they are starting to lose their luster. As a stand-alone mystery novel it is top-notch in both story and charactarization, although the plot wandered a bit. I don't have the deep insight provided by the previous reviewer, but I can say that if you like Chandler style LA Noir, this one is as good as it gets.
on June 15, 2001
Ross MacDonald is an accomplished mystery writer, but this novel, while entertaining, is the most contrived of his many books. It rests on a case of mistaken identity that could not possible have occured, given the ages of the two characters involved. Sadly, this novel offers the first sign that MacDonald was losing his great gifts as a writer.