The Ivory Grin Read ☆ 108

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Of him and he accepts the case He tracks the wayward maid to a ramshackle motel in a seedy run down small town but finds her dead in her tiny The Ivory ePUB #8608 room with her throat slit from ear to ear Archer digs deeper. Perhaps high expectations of Ross MacDonald's stuff is responsible for this book not rocking my world I enjoyed it but there was something lacking that would've made me love it So far I can't really put my finger on what it wasLew Archer is a great protagonist for the genre; a mean self serving PI with a penchant for hard boiled dialogueRoss MacDonald's prose is filled with fantastic observations of both people and placesThe plot is wonderfully convoluted not too confusing but not too straight forward either and the secondary characters all except Archer to be fair are well rounded believable and pretty much 'individuals' as far as secondary characters in pulp noir fiction go The way MacDonald moves the pieces around the board throwing red herrings in to the mix is a joy to behold and the denouement involves a particularly gruesome descriptionrevealBut still it didn't grab me the way other books and other writers of the genre have in the past Maybe next time I hope so

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The Ivory GrinInto the case and discovers a web of deceit and intrigue with crazed number runners from Detroit gorgeous triple crossing molls and a golden boy shipping heir who’s gone mysteriously missing From the Trade Paperback editi. The best entry I've read so far in Ross Macdonald's Lew Archer series Archer is hired to find a missing African American woman by an odd woman with a mannish appearance and the manners of a brute She claims the colored girl is a former employee and that she stole a few pieces of jewelry not valuable items but they have sentimental value to this potential clientArcher reluctantly takes the caseAfter a few chapters Archer picks up a second missing persons case He's hired to find a missing man the scion of an old California family who own original Spanish land grants Eventually it so happens that both missing persons cases are intertwined in a way What were you treating her forIt amounted to nothing really do you follow mePartly Her symptoms were caused by nervesI wouldn't say nerves The doctor was expanding in the glow of his superior knowledge The total personality is the cause of psychosomatic ills In our society a Negro and especially a highly trained Negro woman is often subjected to frustrations that could lead to neurosis A strong personality will sometimes convert incipient neurosis into physical symptoms I'm stating it crudely She felt cramped by her life so to speak and her frustration expressed itself in stomach cramp The doctor being interrogated by Archer in the exchange uoted above is of course a white guy I can't say whether an African American reader would find these sorts of descriptions that are occasionally dropped in this novel observations by a white narrator of societal situations of minorities offensive but ArcherMacdonald seems to speak from a place of liberal sincerity Her diffident black hand touched my arm very softly and retreated to her bosom A thin gold wedding band was sunk almost out of sight in the flesh of its third finger You are on our side Mr ArcherThe side of justice when I can find it When I can't find it I'm for the underdog After such a delivery you half expect Archer to leave behind a silver bullet and ride away on a white horse up into the hills of Chatsworth California But in the end Lew Archer is the one decent man in what so often is a shabby professionI guess my point is unlike Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe novels which I love and find superior to the Archer series intentionally racist terms and views are never expressed in the Macdonald novels I've read so far But then Chandler's original stories early novels were products of the thirties while Macdonald's novels reflect a slightly enlightened post World War II mindset Seen from inside by daylight the room was spacious and handsome in an old fashioned way Kept up it might have been beautiful But the carpets and the surfaces of the furniture were gray with dust strewn with the leavings of weeks torn magazines and crumpled newspapers cigarette butts unwashed dishes A bowl of rotting fruit was alive with insects The wall plants had drooped and died Cobwebs hung in shaggy strands from the ceiling It was a Roman villa liberated by Vandals This novel has it all It's a fast mover with abrupt changes of scenes and moods interactions between Archer and other characters blood and tears and crimes within crimes The eventual solution of the various murders that occur throughout the novel are just thrillingly ingeniousI loved this novelI would recommend this novel to newcomers to the Lew Archer series

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The Ivory Grin Read ☆ 108 á [Reading] ➲ The Ivory Grin ➺ Ross Macdonald – Dogsalonbristol.co.uk A hard faced woman clad in a blue mink stole and dripping with diamonds hires Lew Archer to track down her former maid who she claims has stolen her jewelry Archer can tell he's being fed a line but c A hard faced woman clad in a blue minA hard faced woman clad in a blue mink stole and dripping with diamonds hires Lew Archer to track down her former maid who she claims has stolen her jewelry Archer can tell he's being fed a line but curiosity gets the better. This the fourth novel in the Lew Archer series is very good but not exceptional at least not according to the standards of this exceptional series It does however have all the ingredients of a good mystery and is graced with Macdonald's strengths such as his vivid cameos the old invalid black woman whose hobbies are listening to the radio and her neighbors' business; a middle aged milliner relaxing with a glass of wine and her cat; a decent small town sheriff distrustful of big city detectives and full of reflexive racism and his incomparable descriptions of shabby rooms and splendid showplacesIn addition this book has some features of particular interest to Macdonald fans First of all The Ivory Grin is the first time that Macdonald writes about black Americans forthrightly and unapologetically without his earlier white liberal patronizing tone which often seems objectionable than outright racism He observes his black characters closely but with compassion as he observes all his other characters and the results are realistic and occasionally memorable Secondly one of his principal characters is a person in this case a woman from the wrong side of the tracks who adopts a new name and reinvents herself This is a MacDonald theme that will appear later in a variety of forms most notably in his masterpiece The Galton CaseFinally and I must be vague here to prevent a spoiler the ivory grin referred to in the title is the source of an incredibly obvious metaphor so obvious that one of the characters makes a joke of it and yet this metaphor turns out to be one of the keys to solving the mystery I think the device is used a little crudely here but Macdonald employs the same sort of thing much successfully in the superb mystery The Underground Man