Ross Macdonald: Four Later Novels: Black Money / The Instant Enemy / The Goodbye Look / The Underground Man
Ross Macdonald: Four Later Novels, edited by Tom Nolan for the Library of America, contains four of the late-career novels of Ross Macdonald (1915-1983). Macdonald is acknowledged as the heir to such canonical detective writers as Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, with him also acknowledged as someone who elevated the genre. His interests in these novels are family secrets, the crimes they committed against each other, and how the present is impacted by the crimes of the past, and…. Macdonald wrote during a time before cell phones, the Internet, and the public acknowledgement of child abuse. Some of his characters, both villains and victims, have suffered from family hardships during their youth. He also cared about the fate of the natural environment, with many friendly birds being mentioned in his stories.
The novels collected include Black Money, about IRS cheats; The Instant Enemy, about a dangerous boyfriend; The Goodbye Look, about a family theft; and The Underground Man, about a murder cover-up as well as other things. These books were written in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They are challenging with action and some shocking and surprising endings. Some might find in them profound psychological meanings. Contained, as noted in the chronology, are the books that sold well when Macdonald had achieved fame.
Library of America
Ross Macdonald, Editor • Tom Nolan, Editor