Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Instant Enemy

She raked her dyed head with her fingers, then rose and went to the picture window. With her back to me, her body was simply an object, an obdalisque shape against the light. Framed in dark-red curtains, the sea looked old as the Mediterranean, old as sin. —From Ross Macdonald's THE INSTANT ENEMY featuring Lew Archer and first published in 1968.
"Moves fast and is full of surprises. . . . The best work Macdonald has done in years." —The New York Times

"A more serious and complex writer than Chandler and Hammett ever were." —Eudora Welty

8 comments:

Garnett Elliott said...

Have you ever read "The Ivory Grin?" Black Lizard put it out in the same upgraded, attractive format. A serious contender for my favorite Ross MacDonald novel.

David Cranmer said...

That is a one of the Archer novels I've yet to read. I have about ten to go but am in no hurry. This guy was the best in my humble opinion when it came to the lone detective protagonist.

Black Lizard does beautiful covers.

Chad said...

I love Ross MacDonald. Did you ever read the story about how he saved Warren Zevon's life?

David Cranmer said...

Yes a simply marvelous story, Chad. It's in the Macdonald biography and just goes to show what a wonderful human being RM was.

Randy Johnson said...

The Ivory Grin is one of three I haven't read. The others are The Moving Target and Find A Victim. MacDonald has always been a favorite and I'm hanging onto those last three as if they were gold.

I did the same thing with Hammett. When I got down to The Maltese Falcon, I wouldn't read it for years because it was the last Hammett published fiction for me. Now I understand a group of unpublished short stories have been found and will be publshed. If not out now.

I look forward to them.

David Cranmer said...

Randy, I am the same way. I have a few John D. MacDonald McGee stories left as well. Same goes for Robert B. Parker's last two Spensers.

Garnett Elliott said...

David, if you haven't covered it already, I'd love your opinion on "The Way Some People Die" (not to be confused with "The Way We Die Now")

David Cranmer said...

I vote it the very best Lew Archer I've read. Without looking (not counting short stories) I believe it is third in the series. Haunting tale of him tracking a woman's missing daughter. Of course, it becomes quite complicated and messy of a case. Brilliant.