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The Way Some People Die (1951)

af Ross Macdonald

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Serier: Lew Archer (3)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
413945,293 (4.02)15
In a rundown house in Santa Monica, Mrs. Samuel Lawrence presses fifty crumpled bills into Lew Archer's hand and asks him to find her wandering daughter, Galatea. Described as ‘crazy for men’ and without discrimination, she was last seen driving off with small-time gangster Joe Tarantine, a hophead hood with a rep for violence. Archer traces the hidden trail from San Francisco slum alleys to the luxury of Palm Springs, traveling through an urban wilderness of drugs and viciousness. As the bodies begin to pile up, he finds that even angel faces can mask the blackest of hearts.Filled with dope, delinquents and murder, this is classic Macdonald and one of his very best in the Lew Archer series.… (mere)
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» Se også 15 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 9 (næste | vis alle)
Lew Archer is hired by a Mrs. Samuel Lawrence to find her daughter, Galatea, better known as Galley. According to her mother, Galley is a "good" girl. According to the nurses where she worked, Galley was rather a man eater.

One of Galley's patients, Herman Speed, introduced her to Joseph Tarantine. It turns out that Tarantine and Speed were working together on a drug scheme. Perhaps they'd stolen some smack from mob boss Danny Dowser. After his release from the hospital, Speed seems to have disappeared to San Francisco (way up north; most of this book is in the Los Angeles area). Dowser is looking for Tarantine, and tries to enlist Archer in the search.

Well, it seems that Galley married Tarantine. They live in a apartment building managed by Keith Dalling. Dalling was once an actor of some sorts, but he had a drinking problem. It also seems that Galley has a thing on the side going with Dalling.

Well, there are further complications, like a Mrs. Marjorie Fellows, who had her new husband run out on her shortly after their marriage and shortly after getting her to "invest" $30K with him. Just before he lit out, someone hailed him in a bar, or someplace, using a strange name. She wants Archer to find her Henry. Oh yeah, there's also a teenage drug addict, Ruth, and her pusher, Ronnie. Ronnie is a night clerk or caretaker where some of these folks hang their hats, and was once a runner for Speed. Something like that. I've probably garbled some things along the way.

Whatever, it's a somewhat complex tale of depravity, intrigue, and naturally, murder. Somehow, Archer manages not to get killed, unlike four or so other folks in this tale. But he does manage to tie up quite a lot of loose ends, and mostly, manages to retain some sense of personal integrity. A very engaging adventure. I'm beginning to rather like Ross Macdonald.
( )
1 stem lgpiper | Jun 21, 2019 |
The mystery is so-so. I'm not that into formulaic A-then-B-then-C-then-Hero-explains-the-whole-thing mysteries. I never cared. Still, at times the writing catches fire. Some quotes:

> The lighted clock on the tower of the county courthouse said that it was only five minutes after eleven. I didn’t believe it. I had a post-midnight feeling. My tongue was already furred with the dregs of a long bad evening. A criminal catechism ran on like a screechy record in my head. What? Blood. Where? There. When? Then. Why? Who knows. Who? Him. They. She. It. Us. Especially us.

> The kitchen was brimful of yellow sunlight that poured in through the window over the sink. I started a pot of coffee, fried some bacon, broke four eggs in the sizzling grease, toasted half a dozen slices of stale bread. After eating, I sat in the breakfast nook with a cigarette and a cup of black coffee, thinking of nothing. Silence and loneliness were nice for a change. The absence of dialogue was a positive pleasure that lasted through the second cup of coffee. But I noticed after a while that I was tapping one heel on the floor in staccato rhythm and beginning to bite my left thumbnail. A car passed in the street with the sound of a bus I was about to miss. The yellow sunlight was bleak on the linoleum. The third cup of coffee was too bitter to drink.

> “Yes,” he said to himself. “I am washed up.” His voice was almost cheerful, in a wry thin way. I got the impression that he had never really expected to succeed, and was taking a bitter satisfaction from his own foresight.

> I wanted to ask him questions, but the black cars started to roll. Two cars coming from the other direction joined them at the entrance to the private road. All four turned up toward the hilltop where Dowser lived, not forever.

> “You wouldn’t want to have gone along, not where he’s gone.” “Maybe I would at that.” She raised the empty shot-glass in her fist and stared down into its thick bottom like a crystal-gazer rapt in tragic visions.

> Yellow light fell like an ugly truth from the bulbs in the ceiling fixture. ( )
  breic | Mar 25, 2019 |
Ross Macdonald has been hailed as the heir to Chandler and Hammett. He wrote in all 18 Lew Archer novels, the name of Macdonals's PI being in part a tribute to Sam Spade's partner. This is a 1951 Lew
Archer story that spans some 245 pages.
Archer, an ex-cop, works as a solo private op. This time he arrives at a house that didn't look like it had any money in it or ever would a again. Mrs Samuel Lawrence wants to hire Archer to find her daughter,
Galley, who has disappeared. Galley was fascinating to men. One look at her picture and Archer knew he'd never forget her face. Galley, a nurse by profession, has gotten mixed up with hoods, dope dealers,
and murder. Archer almost takes the fall for a few dead bodies as he chases this
case from the sea to desert and from Hollywood Boulevard to the Golden Gate Bridge. A well written hardboiled tale if there ever was one.
( )
1 stem DaveWilde | Sep 22, 2017 |
As good as Chandler, but not his best book. Although, did he write any poor ones? Macdonald was a master at this genre. ( )
  Mark_Bacon | Jul 24, 2017 |
Archer takes a one day retainer to find a missing daughter. the case spirals from a routine missing persons case to one of multiple murder. In addition, the search leads to a dangerous small time hood who is trying to muscle into the big time. Well done mystery by a master of the craft. ( )
1 stem Leischen | Jul 3, 2016 |
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In a rundown house in Santa Monica, Mrs. Samuel Lawrence presses fifty crumpled bills into Lew Archer's hand and asks him to find her wandering daughter, Galatea. Described as ‘crazy for men’ and without discrimination, she was last seen driving off with small-time gangster Joe Tarantine, a hophead hood with a rep for violence. Archer traces the hidden trail from San Francisco slum alleys to the luxury of Palm Springs, traveling through an urban wilderness of drugs and viciousness. As the bodies begin to pile up, he finds that even angel faces can mask the blackest of hearts.Filled with dope, delinquents and murder, this is classic Macdonald and one of his very best in the Lew Archer series.

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