Move over Philip Marlowe, there is a new PI in town and he is not afraid to get his head bumped hard enough to knock him down. Lew Archer is a private investigator down on his luck; he has to take divorce cases to make a living. When a wife of a Texas oil tycoon asked him to find her husband who went missing hoping Archer would find him with a mistress, neither Archer no his client knew that the investigation would lead to the underbelly of the underworld and practically every type of crime which existed in post-war California.
I am really sorry but I have to use Philip Marlowe as a sample to measure Lew Archer's worth against. It is not my fault Raymond Chandler raised the plank so high practically nobody was able to reach it since. I was sure after I am done with him I would not be able to find anything in noir with the compatible quality. I am happy to say Ross Macdonald delivered something which came darn close to it. The influence by Philip Marlowe over Lew Archer is very obvious and unmistakable; however the latter has his own distinctive voice.
The first half of the novel was somewhat slow, but the second part more than made up for this with the action and the amount of dead bodies. As I mentioned before, Archer gets his head hit very often. I always wondered whether Philip Marlowe would develop chronic headaches because of such injuries; in case of Archer I am sure
he will: his poor head suffered at least 4 times just in the first book, unless I am mistaken.
The final rating is 3.5 stars
. I will most definitely continue reading the series.
This review is a copy/paste of my LeafMark one: https://www.leafmarks.com/lm/#/users/10968/books/77324/review