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The Three Roads

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  100 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Silken skin pale against dark hair, red lips provocatively smiling at him—that’s how Lieutenant Bret Taylor remembered Lorraine. He was drunk when he married her, stone cold sober when he found her dead. Out on the sunlit streets of L.A. walked the man—her lover, her killer—who had been with her that fatal night. Taylor intended to find him. And when he did, the gun in his ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 11th 2011 by Black Lizard/Vintage (first published 1948)
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Bill  Kerwin

"The Three Roads" is the fourth and final book that Ross MacDonald produced before writing his first Lew Archer novel, and it's a mess. It is written in a more mature and disciplined style than the three others, but it is stuffed to the gills with every MacDonald obsession, each exploited beyond its utmost, indulged before the writer had yet developed a coherent idea of how to use them to their best advantage. There is a corrupt coastal American city, a childhood wound and family trauma involvin
Sara Backer
Ross MacDonald is just so good at describing a scene. I return to his books to learn how to write sentences. I had high hopes for this one and I was disappointed that the Oedipal story (The Three Roads = the three roads at Phokis where Oedipus unknowingly killed his father) wasn't a closer parallel. But you can't go wrong with any MacDonald.
Felix Hayman
"For now I am discovered vile, and of the vile. O ye three roads, and thou concealed dell, and Oaken copse, and narrow outlet of three ways, which drank my own blood..." - Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus

It seems that if you a review a book by the standard of today it becomes outmoded, outdated if it is written in the stye of its era. The year is 1948, the war is still in everyone's minds and its outcomes are the stuff of everyday thinking, not of 21st century legend. Ross Mcdonald's main character i
Absolutely stunning and fabulous. Lyrical, emotional, amazing twists, beautifully drawn characters--I could not possibly say enough about this fantastic novel. I literally cannot wait to get my hands on more of Macdonald's material--this was one of the best of the noir/detective type fiction reads I have ever had. The authors of this type of book often have a beautiful and lyrical style but this is more gorgeous than most that I have read without losing the gritty side of the story . About as cl ...more
The Freudian determinism of this novel does not mesh all that well with the individual responsibility that typifies the novel's genre. This novel was released the year after Hitchcock's mystery film The Paradine Case, which also heavily used psycological concepts in its plot and which also had a mentally damaged person as its detective. On the whole, an ambitious attempt to expand the limits of the detective story that is not all that successful.
Victoria Mixon
This one's a cheater, as the reader is told in the beginning that the culprit couldn't have done it. And the jumping around from point-of-view to point-of-view is distracting. Still, it's a solid, well-written mystery. Just don't take Macdonald's implied advice on what kind of person is safe to marry.
Ross Macdonald was still feeling his way into the craft of writing mystery novels, but his ability to write emotional experience has blossomed since he wrote BLUE CITY. His magnificently experienced characters are still, over all, too depressed to create a successful series as he was later to do.
Ram Kaushik
This is probably be hands down the worst Ross McD I have read. Full of amateur psychology, self-absorbed and an apology of a story line. Not sure why he was so off-form on this one, may be an early trial run.
This was the first disappointing Ross MacDonald book I've read. I think a big part was that I was expecting a detective/mystery story and instead I got a psychological melodrama. Just not my thing.
Freudian crime fiction. Turns out, seeing your mother get it on with a man Not Your Father really *will* ruin your life...or at least cause lasting damage to your psyche. Damn you, mom!

Not as good as Macdonald's classic Lew Archer mysteries, but still an entertaining psychological thriller, set in Southern California after the Second World War.
A bit different from Macdonald's usual in terms of plot, but the writing style is the same. This gets a little more psychological than his usual
It stared off very melodramatic and then took a turn for the
Well done but not as good as his later writing.
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Ross Macdonald is the pseudonym of the American-Canadian writer of crime fiction Kenneth Millar. He is best known for his series of hardboiled novels set in southern California and featuring private detective Lew Archer.

Millar was born in Los Gatos, California, and raised in his parents' native Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, where he started college. When his father abandoned his family unexpectedly,
More about Ross Macdonald...
The Drowning Pool (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) The Chill The Galton Case The Moving Target The Way Some People Die

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