Author(s): Ross MacDonald
When a chance encounter makes him a witness to the abduction of a child, private detective Lew Archer can't help but be drawn into the case, pursuing a trail that leads all too quickly to murder. While forest fires rage in the hills around Los Angeles, threatening the homes of some of the city's wealthiest families, Archer unearths a hidden history of failed marriages, runaway children, and a man's life consumed by a search for the father who abandoned him. Ross Macdonald's "Lew Archer" mysteries rewrote the conventions of the detective novel with their credible, humane hero, and with Macdonald's insight and moral complexity won new literary respectability for the hardboiled genre previously pioneered by Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. They have also received praise from such celebrated writers as William Goldman, Jonathan Kellerman, Eudora Welty and Elmore Leonard.
A more serious and complex writer than Chandler and Hammett ever were -- Eudora Welty America's greatest crime writer -- Elmore Leonard Ross MacDonald is very important to me. I love the Lew Archer books -- James Ellroy
MacDonald served as president of The Mystery Writers of America in 1965, received the Silver Dagger in 1964 and the Gold Dagger in 1965 from The British Crime Writers Association, and in 1981, received The Eye, the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Private Eye Writers of America.