He let me know he had a gun, he thought he’d throw a scare into me. I didn’t tell him I was handling firearms before his dam dropped him on the curb and kicked him into the gutter. He wanted to think he was smooth and sharp and I let him go on thinking it.Mrs. Samuel Lawrence pays detective Lew Archer fifty dollars (one day’s salary) to find her wayward daughter, Galatea. Galley, as she's known, is beautiful, crazy for men and was last seen with local small-time hood, Joe Tarantine. Archer’s investigation begins in his stomping grounds of Southern California and a lawless trail leads him across country to Palm Springs.
Macdonald’s psychological insight into the motivations of his multi-layered characters coupled with stunning writing led The Chicago Tribune to accurately point out, “Ross Macdonald gives to the detective story that accent of class that Raymond Chandler did.” Amen. I defy anyone to turn to a page in this book without landing on a passage of poetic prose:
I caught occasional glimpses of the sea, white capped and desolate under a driving sky. The unsteady wind whined in the corners of the cut-banks and fell off in unexpected silences. In one of the silences, under the drive of the motor, I heard Galley crying to herself.If you need to shake things up a bit after reading your dog-eared copy of Phillip Marlowe for the eighth time, then I'd suggest giving the heir of Hammett and Chandler, Ross Macdonald, a go with The Way Some People Die.
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