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Black Money (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) Paperback – 1 Jun 1996

4.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books; 1st Vintage Books/Black Lizard Ed edition (Jun. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679768106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679768104
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,692,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

This welcome reissue of one of Macdonald's best novels reminds us once again what an important writer he was (CATHOLIC HERALD)

[A]n enjoyable racy thriller. . . this is quite simply a gem of its genre! (TELEGRAPH & ARGUS) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

'The finest series of detective novels ever written by an American' WILLIAM GOLDMAN. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is one of the latter books in the series with a greater emphasis on character rather than plot. There is a lot to like in this novel. The author plays on the facade of The Affluent Society yet beneath it lies gangsterism and its proceeds known as 'Black Money'.

Archer and author are aging and the first 'flicker of panic' at a lonely middle-age is mixed with generational interplay. Sympatheitc treatment is also given to a character with an eating disorder and a stroke victim: not the usual dramatis personae in a crime thriller. The murder story centres around a sweltering tennis centre on the West Coast of USA. Archer is hired to trail a Tom Ripley-esque suspect of dubious origin. The story takes place over a few days with our hero up til 3am every night and knocking up witnesses at all hours; a flaw in the story.

Been dipping in and out of this MacDonald/Lew Archer series and can't really make up my mind. Mr MacDonald is very good but comparisons with Chandler are not deserved and unfairly raise expectations too high. Nevertheless, 'Black Money' is one of the better books in the series of eighteen and stands alone well.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book had the feel of the slow-burn about it, which works really well considering Macdonald sets his story in the heat of California. Macdonald's private detective Lew Archer is a bit of a mystery, we never find out much about him, married, single, divorced. Or maybe that's all been covered in the other books, which I'm sure I will read. But this is a book full of richly drawn characters, and you get a real sense of the desperation in some of their lives. The plot and the final reveal at the end, aren't exactly shocking or breathtaking, but all the loose ends were tied together nicely.
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Format: Paperback
"Black Money" is the first novel I've read by Ross Macdonald and it most certainly will not be the last.
The book features Private Investigator Lew Archer, who is hired to look into the background of a Frenchman who has stolen Archer's client's girlfriend. Things are not quite as simple as they appear on the surface and in the course of his investigation Archer meets a large number of interesting characters, some with a hidden secret or two. The Detective begins to wonder if current events somehow tie into an apparent suicide seven years earlier.
What I liked about Lew Archer was his humanity: he was genuinely concerned about, and sympathetic to, unfortunate people who crossed his path, rather than ridiculing them for their obvious deficiencies. There was none of the macho nonsense that is sometimes prevalent when reading P.I. novels. Archer came across as an all round compassionate guy, reminding me in some ways of the James Lee Burke character - Dave Robicheaux.
I'm glad I stumbled across Ross Macdonald and hopefully it'll be possible to track down some of the other books in the Archer series.
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Format: Kindle Edition
You know what you're getting with a ross macdonald yarn, and one element should be pace, which here is lacking. There's still a good deal to hold the attention, but it doesn't help that the main focus of interest has re-invented himself out of existence. Only for diehard RM fans.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like the noir genre so I thought I'd give Ross McDonald a go. Although Black Money has a reasonable storyline it's far from top flight noir. This is one of those books that after you finish reading it, you instantly forget what it was about. Noir writers usually strive to emulate Raymond Chandler and recreate new "Marlowes" as I think RM tries to do in this book. What you get is a pale comparison of the legendary gumshoe.
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