The Galton Case (A Lew Archer Mystery) (Lew Archer Novels (Audio))

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9781433278532: The Galton Case (A Lew Archer Mystery) (Lew Archer Novels (Audio))
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[MP3CD audiobook format in vinyl case.]

[Read by Grover Gardner]

*Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

In the character of Lew Archer, Ross Macdonald redefined the private eye as a roving conscience who walks the treacherous frontier between criminal guilt and human sin -- and in so doing, gave the American crime novel a psychological depth and moral complexity that his predecessors had only hinted at. Deliciously devious and tersely poetic, The Galton Case displays Ross Macdonald at the pinnacle of his form.

Almost twenty years have passed since Anthony Galton disappeared, along with a suspiciously streetwise bride and several thousand dollars of his family's fortune. Now Anthony's aging and very rich mother wants him back and has hired Lew Archer to find him. What turns up is a headless skeleton, a boy who claims to be Galton's son, and a con game whose stakes are so high that someone is still willing to kill for them.

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Review:

The Galton Case, published in 1959, was Ross Macdonald's breakthrough book. Its predecessors are craftsmanlike, highly literate, hard-boiled detective stories; The Galton Case and most of its successors are literature that happens to inhabit the detective-story form. For Macdonald the man, Galton was the first book in which he explored his deepest personal concerns (he was the child of a broken home who was passed from relative to relative in his youth). For readers, it's the book in which he first perfected the balancing act that became his trademark: a tightly written page-turner that also probes profound themes and frequently rises to something like poetry.

The tale opens with detective Lew Archer visiting the swanky offices of a lawyer acquaintance, who engages him to hunt for a long-missing scion of the rich Galton family. Though the case seems fruitless, Archer begins digging. Soon a seemingly unrelated crime intrudes--but Archer tells us, "I hate coincidences." As he roams California (and, briefly, Nevada) following leads and hunches, he gradually uncovers a long-buried tale of deception, hatred, and the power of illusion. As usual, Macdonald can accomplish more with three lines of dialogue and a simple description than most writers can in three pages. The connection between Archer's two cases finally clicks about three-quarters of the way through the book, and the moving denouement, with its final plot twist, takes place in a hardscrabble Canadian boarding house much like those in which Macdonald spent parts of his childhood. The Galton Case is an exceptionally satisfying read on several levels. --Nicholas H. Allison

From the Inside Flap:

Almost twenty years have passed since Anthony Galton disappeared, along with a suspiciously streetwise bride and several thousand dollars of his family's fortune. Now Anthony's mother wants him back and has hired Lew Archer to find him. What turns up is a headless skeleton, a boy who claims to be Galton's son, and a con game whose stakes are so high that someone is still willing to kill for them. Devious and poetic, The Galton Case displays MacDonald at the pinnacle of his form.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780679768647: The Galton Case (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0679768645 ISBN 13:  9780679768647
Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, 1996
Softcover

9780850318951: Galton Case

W. H. ..., 1989
Hardcover

9780749000103: The Galton Case

Alliso..., 1989
Softcover

9780893403348: The Galton case

J. Curly, 1981
Softcover

9789997519597: The Galton Case

Random..., 1959
Hardcover

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