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Find a Victim: A Lew Archer Novel by Ross…
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Find a Victim: A Lew Archer Novel (original 1954; edition 2001)

by Ross Macdonald

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303936,938 (3.95)15
Member:wildbill
Title:Find a Victim: A Lew Archer Novel
Authors:Ross Macdonald
Info:Vintage (2001), Edition: 1st Vintage Crime/Black Lizard ed, Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library, read, audiobook
Rating:***
Tags:mystery

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Find a Victim by Ross Macdonald (1954)

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
This book certainly has the noir atmosphere down. It felt dark and shabby throughout, although not without sympathy for some of the victims that Archer comes across; Jo in particular suffers a great deal. I didn't predict the final revelation involving Jo's grandfather. For the most part I think everything was wrapped up, with few or no extraneous characters. I wouldn't suggest starting with this book in the series. It is better for those who are already familiar with Archer and his world. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Feb 28, 2017 |
This entry in the Lew Archer series was a bit too hardboiled for my tastes. However, the ending was surprisingly heartrending so maybe it deserves another ½ star... ( )
  leslie.98 | Jan 25, 2017 |
Written in 1954 (which dates the style).
The style slightly predates Mickey Spillane (who influenced later works of this genre). ( )
  howzzit | Dec 15, 2016 |
So far not my favorite of Macdonald's hard-boiled fiction. It's his fifth featuring the detective character of Lew Archer and in some ways it feels less inspired than the previous four. Maybe Macdonald was starting to grow restless with the format. Still interested in reading more though, especially his late 50's output where he apparently perfects his craft. ( )
  Matthew.Ducmanas | Mar 18, 2016 |
"I wished that I was made of steel and powered by electricity."

Find a Victim, the fifth Lew Archer novel, starts off with Archer pulling over for what he at first thinks is a hitchhiker, but ends up being a mortally wounded man. Archer rushes him to the nearest town, where is awkward reception and the man's death inspire him to solve the murder of truck driver Tony Aquista.

This opening underlines the appeal of Lew Archer and the direction that later novels would follow, as Archer is more of a sympathetic soul than some of your other hard-boiled gumshoes from the fifties. Archer is a veteran of both the streets and the war; he's familiar with death and deceit. What he isn't familiar with, however, is apathy. Archer wades through the same swamp of sex, drugs, corruption and degradation as an observer and occasional judge, but not with cynical detachment of his contemporaries.

As he snoops around the city of Las Cruces (Also known as "The City of Crosses," or the multiple of Crux, both obvious allusions to the multiple betrayals and double-crosses occurring among our cast of characters), his compassion towards the frailties of human nature affect him and drive him to dig deeper more than any paycheck or thoughtless moral code. At one point he even seeks out employment to justify his involvement in the case, but even that is abandoned as he gets closer to the truth no one in interested in, and the justice nobody else appears to be looking for.

Plot-wise, there isn't much groundbreaking material: Cheating husbands, frustrated wives, corrupt officials, duplicitous businessmen, violent criminals, cheap dives, loose women... You know the score. But MacDonald's prose will occasionally sweep in with something lyrical or unexpected, and Archer's tough exterior yields a soul of empathy and understanding just often enough to reveal his true search in Find a Victim isn't for justice, but humanity. ( )
  smichaelwilson | Sep 15, 2015 |
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A man feared that he might find an assassin; Another that he might find a victim. One was more wise than the other. - Stephen Crane
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To IVAN VON AUW Jr.
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He was the ghastliest hitchhiker who ever thumbed me.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375708677, Paperback)

Las Cruces wasn’t a place most travelers would think to stop. But after Lew Archer plays the good samaritan and picks up a bloodied hitchhiker, he finds himself in town for a few days awaiting a murder inquest. A hijacked truck full of liquor and an evidence box full of marijuana, $20,000 from a big time bank heist by a small time crook, corruption, adultery, incest, prodigal daughters and abused wives all make the little town seem a lot more interesting than any guide book ever could. And as the murder rate rises, Archer finds himself caught up in mystery where everyone is a suspect and everyone’s a victim.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:08 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Lew Archer becomes involved with a beautiful blonde and a case of murder after he discovers a man dying of a bullet wound along a southern California highway.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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