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The Chill

by Ross MacDonald

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Lew Archer (11)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6311728,343 (4.04)36
Lew Archer knew he shouldn't have taken the case, but Alex Kincaid seemed so desperate. Kincaid's loving new bride Dolly had just inexplicably walked out on him, leaving Kincaid more than a little fearful for her sanity-and her safety. So Archer reluctantly agreed to help Kincaid find his wife. But what he found instead was enough to send a chill down anyone's spine-a new fresh corpse and evidence linking Dolly not only to this murder, but to a series of others dating back to before she was even born.… (more)
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» See also 36 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (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. ( )
1 vote Jonathan_M | Mar 21, 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 |
An excellent mystery, disturbing in its psychological implementations. Lots of red herrings. I only figured out the murderer because I'd read it before. Very well-rounded complex characterizations that rang true. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (27 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
MacDonald, Rossprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Friedmann, GretelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hamilo, EskoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mantovani, VincenzoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parker, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Lew Archer knew he shouldn't have taken the case, but Alex Kincaid seemed so desperate. Kincaid's loving new bride Dolly had just inexplicably walked out on him, leaving Kincaid more than a little fearful for her sanity-and her safety. So Archer reluctantly agreed to help Kincaid find his wife. But what he found instead was enough to send a chill down anyone's spine-a new fresh corpse and evidence linking Dolly not only to this murder, but to a series of others dating back to before she was even born.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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