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The Chill by Ross Macdonald
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The Chill (original 1964; edition 1996)

by Ross Macdonald

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5411927,059 (4.1)29
Member:brensullivan
Title:The Chill
Authors:Ross Macdonald
Info:Vintage (1996), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:To read
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The Chill by Ross MacDonald (1964)

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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Excellent example of the gumshoe style of mystery. One aspect that I particularly like is the fact that the book is focused entirely on the mystery - no long passages about the detective's personal problems. I don't mean to imply that Lew Archer is one-dimensional but that he is a man who focuses on the job. This had plenty of twists and surprises but none that the author 'cheats' with - the reader learns about them when Archer does. ( )
1 vote leslie.98 | Sep 24, 2016 |
Right up there with the best of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Actually, Ross Macdonald was a better plotter than either of them, and the details of his complex storyline for The Chill interlock as magnificently as the stones of an Incan wall. If I have anything even remotely resembling a complaint, it's the fact that I would have enjoyed seeing Lew Archer, Macdonald's private eye, become a little more personally involved in the story; in sharp contrast to Chandler's Philip Marlowe (who invariably wound up throwing his heart and soul into the case he was working, whether he wanted to or not), Archer seemed to stand at an ironic distance, psychoanalyzing the other characters. But it's hard to find fault with such a dark, haunting tale so beautifully told, and The Chill may be recommended without reservation--not only to fans of crime fiction, but to fans of intelligent writing in general. I consider it one of the three essential hardboiled novels, along with Hammett's The Glass Key and Chandler's The Long Goodbye. ( )
  Jonathan_M | Mar 21, 2016 |
Probably one of the more successful of MacDonald's hardboiled series I've read yet. The Chill increases the moral involvement of Archer within the investigation and his actions begin to have significant repercussions on the plot and characters (beyond his obvious role of following the clues to the end resolution). Also nice to see a fun twist at the end that doesn't come off as either cheap or unbelievable. MacDonald still doesn't come near the emotional weight of Chandler's work but The Chill is on the right track. ( )
  Matthew.Ducmanas | Mar 18, 2016 |
A hard-boiled detective story, another in the series about Lew Archer, this convoluted murder mystery is full of characters, connections, and red herrings. I confess both to being somewhat confused by the number of characters and also to being delightfully surprised by the ending, which I didn't see coming. ( )
  sleahey | May 15, 2015 |
This may be the BEST detective novel I have ever read -- and that's on a list that includes Chandler and Hammett (as well as Spillane, Christie, Gardner, AC Doyle, and plenty of others). Three murders have been committed, stretched over the span of 20 years, and whether and how they are linked is just one of the questions that perplexes detective Lew Archer. The other is who, in a broad cast of characters, could have committed them.

This is a tale with adultery, blackmail, cons, and death. The writing is superb, with subtlety and wit, full of keen observations and penetrating insights. There is plenty of action, plot twists abound, and an atmosphere of suspense suffused the whole. And the ending is a shocker!

I had to go back and read this book a second time (something I almost never do) to put the clues together, and to see what I might have missed the first time. I recommend this book highly. ( )
3 vote danielx | Apr 16, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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MacDonald, Rossprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hamilo, EskoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679768076, Paperback)

"The surprise with which a detective novel concludes should set up tragic vibrations which run backward through the entire structure," wrote Ross Macdonald in his 1981 Self-Portrait. Nowhere in his work does he better demonstrate this principle than in The Chill, first published in 1964. The plot is one of Macdonald's most masterfully constructed. Private detective Lew Archer is engaged to trace a missing spouse, who has vanished--apparently of her own free will--only a day into her honeymoon. Archer begins pulling at the threads of the case, and by page 25 they're already starting to reveal a deeper, darker story involving two murders 20 years apart. As usual, Macdonald's economical prose propels the reader forward from one action-packed scene to another, while the scenes in turn pile up to paint a rich, complex picture of buried memories, anguished relations between parents and children, the arrogance of the rich, and the search for identity. Then, at the end, one of the author's best surprise reversals changes the picture's colors entirely. Even if you're one of those discerning readers who find Macdonald's lesser work superior to most other mystery writing (as does this reviewer), The Chill stands out among his books. --Nicholas H. Allison

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:02 -0400)

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A distraught young man hires Lew Archer to track down his runaway bride, but no sooner has he found Dolly Kincaid than Archer finds himself entangled in two murders, one twenty years old, the other so recent that the blood is still wet.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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