Ross Macdonald, True Detective

In April 1949, Raymond Chandler described his aspiration to write a transcending book, “which, ostensibly a mystery and keeping the spice of mystery, will actually be a novel of character and atmosphere with an over-tone of violence and fear.” Chandler was contemplating his most ambitious—and most uneven—novel, The Long Goodbye. He was also contemplating Ross Macdonald, who had just published The Moving Target, his first novel featuring the detective Lew Archer. At the time, Chandler...

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