The Barbarous Coast

The Barbarous Coast

Book - 2007
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Random House, Inc.
The beautiful, high-diving blonde had Hollywood dreams and stars in her eyes but now she seems to have disappeared without a trace. Hired by her hotheaded husband and her rummy “uncle,” Lew Archer sniffs around Malibu and finds the stink of blackmail, blood-money, and murder on every pricey silk shirt. Beset by dirty cops, a bumptious boxer turned silver screen pretty boy and a Hollywood mogul with a dark past, Archer discovers the secret of a grisly murder that just won't stay hidden.Lew Archer navigates through the watery, violent world of wealth and privilege, in this electrifying story of obsession gone mad.

Baker & Taylor
Detective Lew Archer journeys inside the dark underbelly of glittering Malibu society when he is hired by a hotheaded husband to find his gorgeous wife, an aspiring Hollywood actress, taking on corrupt cops, a bisexual boxer turned filmdom star, and a Hollywood mogul with a dark past as he stumbles upon the secrets of a grisly murder. Reprint. 10,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, 2007, c1956
Edition: 1st Vintage CrimeBlack Lizard ed
ISBN: 9780307279033
0307279030
Characteristics: 247 p. ; 21 cm

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diaparalectdoxical
Jul 24, 2017

In Barbarous Coast Ross MacDonald continues with his ambitious and scathing critique of the political corruption and psychological and moral decay he saw in the American culture in the 1950s. L.A. is "the unreal city, a false front leaning on scantlings". The unlikely villain has "the face of evil, drawn by a vague and passionate yearning toward the deed of darkness it abhorred". MacDonald takes many swipes at the McCarthyism rampant in the society. You get the feeling he did not feel much at home in the society he was writing about.

Still all the critique is woven into a rollicking and constantly changing plot full of graphic violence and sexual titillation and it's great fun to read. I think this is hard boiled writing, there is scarcely an admirable character to be found.

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