The Ross MacDonald Blog

Ross MacDonald

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A place for a conversation about the works and life of Ross Macdonald.

Find a Victim — Part Ten

                            Thoughts on Macdonald’s Research     Macdonald was a professional crime writer and in many respects he took his calling very seriously. He and his wife so regularly attended trials that they were well-known to the courthouse...

Find a Victim — Part Nine

SPOILER ALERT                                        It Hits the Fan     Chapter 31 has a no-nonsense opening.  Archer arrives at the Church residence.  When Hilda says that her husband is not home, Archer forces his way inside. Before he begins, he regards...

Find a Victim — Part Eight

                                                                                                                                  SPOILER ALERT                                        The Pace Picks Up     MacGowan comes bearing important news. Jo Summer has...

Find a Victim — Part Seven

                                    An Odd Conversation     After the strange fumblings of Chapter 18, it’s good to get back to the action in Chapter 19.  Well, not so much; the fumblings in this chapter are logical rather than physical.  The chapter opens...

Find a Victim — Part Six

                                  The Worst Motel Stay Ever       The lights are on in the office of Kerrigan’s motel, giving Archer a clear view of the owners’ brains.  Kerrigan had been shot once, between the eyes, with a gun that Archer guesses might...

Find a Victim — Part Five

                              I’ve Got Friends in Low Places       A few slaps with the Sheriff’s automatic have apparently shaken the stupid out of Archer, because his next move, to Kerrigan’s bar, the Golden Slipper, is a good idea.  The bar boasts...

Find a Victim — Part Four

                                      Working the Edges              Nothing happens by accident in a Ross Macdonald book, and the car ride with Hilda Church is no exception. Hilda has issues with men, partly based on her own negative experiences and partly...

Find a Victim — Part Three

              I Swear I Had a Client Around Here Somewhere   In all the Archer books, Macdonald is careful to provide Archer with a client, no matter how far afield the investigation strays from the original assignment. Sometimes Archer foregoes a written...

Find a Victim — Part Two

                    “Great Starts Can Lead to Muddled Middles”                                     --Ross Macdonald, speaking of Find a Victim       Macdonald was always sensitive to the importance of his first scene. He employed many different...

Find a Victim — Part One

                                WHAT THE CRITICS SAY       “Find a Victim is the noir-est of Macdonald’s early Archer novels . . .  the bottom line of Find a Victim is negative . . . Macdonald finds the penal code next to irrelevant in describing or...

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