The Underground Man by Ross MacDonald
A Lew Archer Novel (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



As a mysterious fire rages through the hills above a privileged town in Southern California, Archer tracks a missing child who may be the pawn in a marital struggle or the victim of a bizarre kidnapping.  What he uncovers amid the ashes is murder—and a trail of motives as combustible as gasoline.  The Underground Man is a detective novel of merciless suspense and tragic depth, with an unfaltering insight into the moral ambiguities at the heart of California's version of the American dream.

If any writer can be said to have inherited the mantle of Dashiell Hammet and Raymond Chandler, it was Ross Macdonald.  Between the late 1940s and his death in 1983, he gave the American crime novel a psychological depth and moral complexity that his predecessors had only hinted at.  And in the character of Lew Archer, Macdonald redefined the private eye as a roving conscience who walks the treacherous frontier between criminal guilt and human sin.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Ross MacDonald

See more books from this Author
Ross MacDonald's illustrations have appeared in many magazines, including the "New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Newsweek", and "Time". He is also the author and illustrator of several children's books, including "Another Perfect Day", which was a "Publishers Weekly" Best Book; "Achoo! Bang! Crash! The Noisy Alphabet", which was a "Publishers Weekly" Best Book and a "Nick Jr. Magazine" Best Book; and, most recently, "Bad Baby". Mr. MacDonald lives with his family in Connecticut. Visit his website at
Published December 1, 2010 by Vintage. 288 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Horror, Education & Reference, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Underground Man

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

This is one of MacDonald's shatterproof constructs dealing more or less with the sins of the fathers — and mothers — and in particular with Stan Broadhurst who leaves his wife and son with another girl and is presumably looking for his father who also disappeared with another woman.

Feb 01 1970 | Read Full Review of The Underground Man: A Lew Ar...

In general, though, Welty comes across as both more sociable and practical: “I’ve written too long a letter and let the beans burn dry.” She explains that she never looks at her early stories, “except the few I read aloud to earn my living.” Though highly personal in her approach to books, she ta...

Aug 05 2015 | Read Full Review of The Underground Man: A Lew Ar...

Reader Rating for The Underground Man

An aggregated and normalized score based on 31 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review