Sunday, October 16, 2011
BOOK REVIEW: THE MOVING TARGET, by Ross MacDonald
MacDonald is credited with bringing more psychological depth to the genre. I didn't see a lot of that here but it is his first novel. I admit an innate prejudice against detective fiction. I like crime novels -- Patricia Highsmith, Georges Simenon, James Ellroy, recently Richard Stark. Crime novels can take you in unexpected directions and leave you slack-jawed when they are over. Detectives, whether they are Miss Marple, Richard Marlowe, or Lew Archer, will take some serious beatings but figure things out in the end. (Actually I doubt Miss Marple every took any serious beatings.)
Detectives suffer betrayals, but it's all part of the job. They go home to more cigarettes and rye. (I should have left Miss Marple out of this.)
In a good crime novel, the world shifts under your feet and settles into a place you feared it belonged the whole time.
Paul Newman played Lew Archer, renamed Harper, in the 1966 film version.