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L'home soterrat

de Ross Macdonald

Sèrie: Lew Archer (16)

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6161428,805 (3.77)20
As a mysterious fire rages through the hills above a privileged town in Southern California, Archer tracks a missing child who may be the pawn in a marital struggle or the victim of a bizarre kidnapping. What he uncovers amid the ashes is murder--and a trail of motives as combustible as gasoline.
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Es mostren 1-5 de 14 (següent | mostra-les totes)
a missing boy and a fire in the L.A. hills lead Lew Archer to a long buried crime
  ritaer | Mar 4, 2021 |
This is my favorite Macdonald book I've read thus far! Read in one day because I couldn't put it down. Such great descriptive prose!

"She opened the wardrobe closet for my inspection. It was stuffed with coats and dresses like a small army of girls crushed flat for storage and smelling of sachet. The chest of drawers was full of sweaters and other garments, like shed or unused skins." ( )
  viviennestrauss | Apr 23, 2020 |
The 16th novel in Ross Macdonald’s Lew Archer series, The Underground Man is a slow moving, hard to follow PI noir from the early 1970s. Lew Archer steps out of his apartment one morning to toss peanuts to some scrub jays and a young boy of 5 or 6 soon comes out of a nearby apartment. Before long the boy’s father comes to take him on an outing, over the objection of his mother. Shortly after the boy and his father leave the mother comes to Archer’s apartment and hires him to find and return the boy. Later that day Archer finds the father murdered. He quickly locates the boy but is knocked unconscious, and when he awakes the boy is gone. A ton of conversations then occurs.

The story involves a long series of brief conversations with an ever-expanding cast of characters. For the most part the characters are neither memorable nor interesting, their motivations for their actions are not especially believable, and the complex relations among them are confusing. Some are married, some were formerly married, some are parents, some are their children, some are their employees, and some were students of a woman one who was a teacher, an unfaithful wife, and a gullible victim.

The characters blend into an indistinguishable soup and despite going back to the beginning and taking notes on each character I had difficulty remembering them. Macdonald needed to provide a list of characters, reduce the number of characters, and make a stronger effort to create interesting characters. In short, a more plausible story that doesn’t consist of a long string of interviews is needed.

Adding to the confusion, the story takes place in too many locations. Some locations are fictitious so I have no clue where they are in relation to other locations. In other instances comments like, “I’m going to,” identifies actual locations that are separated by hundreds of miles. Macdonald makes little effort to explain the relations among the locations. My general impression is that the book was written with people who live in southern California in mind.

Furthermore, Macdonald gave me no reason to care about Lew Archer aside from the fact that he is the POV character. Archer’s reason for taking the case was flimsy and Macdonald does little to bring Archer’s to life with interesting details.

I’m going to pass on additional Macdonald novels. ( )
  Tatoosh | Dec 21, 2019 |
Review: The Underground Man by Ross MacDonald.

The story started off with a domestic kidnapping that led to many events as stealing a beautiful sail boat and not knowing how to maneuver it over the ocean and ended breaking up in the ocean almost taking three lives with it. Also the author entwined a natural disaster, a dreadful wildfire in the California hills around members of the family’s home he was investigating. A recent murder was discovered that belong to the same family causing more work for Lew Archer to untangle. Archer’s theory involved malicious relationships of the family members and he needed to prevent any more impending tragedies. The story has some twist and turns that places Archer in situations of danger. The land and ocean becomes characters because there used to carry the story through some rough adventures throughout this family in the past and the future.

Archer was more or less pulled into a situation he was not seeking when he went outside one morning to feed some peanuts to a few blue jays and met a young boy and his mother.
Archer also got to meet the estranged husband when he came to pick up his son. Somehow, Archer gets involved into a domestic quarrel, a series of adulteries, a broken marriage, petty crimes, frauds, and a murder going back three generations. The story spools around southern California in the 60’s. Being a detective, Archer realizes that powerful families have dark history secrets that sadly repeat themselves over and over again.

This was a good mystery and I really enjoyed the story. I felt like I was almost reading a Sherlock Holmes book. The detective, Lew Archer kept asking questions in the investigation that he already surmised and nonchalantly kept his cool and moved on. I was the reader and he never clued me in! He moved within the story like he didn’t know anything and he wasn’t predictable but he knew where he was going and who the next person he was going to question. However, as I was reading I didn’t make a connection with his way of thinking and he baffled me because he never gave anything away. He kept everything locked away in his mine until he was ready to give the reader a little bit more to keep the story going. I could tell he was leading up too something but really didn’t catch on until I was almost at the end of the book and started putting it all together. Ross MacDonald was clever enough to have his character hold back to entice the reader. I enjoyed the way the story unraveled and it kept me intrigued to the end. ( )
  Juan-banjo | Jan 18, 2017 |
"A little mayhem," from another review, captures this book's flavor. Three murders, over a dozen characters, almost half of them suspects. It's a page turner, but the seemingly never ending questioning of witnesses and suspects and family members and friends made me turn the pages a little faster toward the end. ( )
  jklavanian | Nov 28, 2016 |
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As a mysterious fire rages through the hills above a privileged town in Southern California, Archer tracks a missing child who may be the pawn in a marital struggle or the victim of a bizarre kidnapping. What he uncovers amid the ashes is murder--and a trail of motives as combustible as gasoline.

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