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Trouble Follows Me

(Chet Gordon #2)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  203 ratings  ·  19 reviews
It's 1945. Ensign Sam Drake attends a party on his last night stationed in Hawaii and meets the woman of his dreams. But before the night is out, her best friend is dead in an upstairs room at the party. It appears to be suicide.

The next day Sam starts his leave before receiving a new post. He returns to his home town of Detroit, and decides to check into a connection ther
Paperback, 196 pages
Published 1972 by Corgi Books (first published 1946)
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3.72  · 
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 ·  203 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Bill  Kerwin
May 20, 2007 rated it it was ok

The is the second published novel by Ross Macdonald, but I suspect much of it dates from his WWII navy days, before Macdonald began to pursue his doctorate in English at the University of Michigan. The plot is often rambling and occasionally forced, and the writing is filled with overwritten passages, many of them turgid and pretentious. These problems are present in "The Dark Tunnel" too, but here they seem even more amateurish, evidence of a new writer painfully learning his craft.

The plot, in
Cathy DuPont
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's not Lew Archer this time, it's Lt. Sam Drake, U. S. Navy.

After spending months at sea, Sam attends a party in Honolulu with his friend and fellow officer, Eric. Sam's not looking for love but he meets a beautiful tall blonde working woman, Mary.

Although Eric is married with a wife in Detroit, he has a girlfriend, Sue, who works with Mary at a radio broadcasting station on the island.

Set in February 1945, WWII is not quite over. (The war ends August 1945.) There is constant talk of Japane
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
I approach the early books of Macdonald with a lot of trepidation. I still remember his disastrous debut but his Archer series has convinced me it is worth tracing his growth as an author. Unfortunately books like Trouble Follows me make it a tough endeavour even with lowered expectations.

The bodies pile up as Navy intel is presumed to be stolen in this old fashioned espionage thriller. The descriptive metaphors that would later be the lifeblood of Archer show up but they are invariably overwrit
James  Love
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Chester Gordon finally makes an appearance about 3/4 of the way into the story.

A mix of Saboteur and Strangers on a Train with a dash of North by Northwest. Imagine a two-part Magnum, p. i./Equalizer crossover. Written by Patricia Highsmith and Raymond Chandler. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles. Filmed in black and white.
David C Ward
A very young book by the writer who would become Ross Macdonald. Pure melodrama with a wartime setting, a spy ring and a shadowy group of African American militants called Black Israel. Very overwritten and kind of crazy. If you know your melodrama, you’ll know who the really bad guy is fairly early on. The episodes of race and racism actually make this a piece of evidence for racial attitudes around World War II. Anyway, Millar/Macdonald would go on to better things.
Jack Webb
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Early MacDonald

This was only his second novel, published before he started using the MacDonald pen name (real name Kenneth Millar), and before he created Lew Archer. Pretty good yarn about a GI getting inadvertently involved in an espionage ring towards the end of WWII.
James Spears
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a good book. I enjoyed the train trip and travel with the main character. It had a surprise ending to it. I would recommend this book to someone who loves smokey rooms and WW II backgrounds in their mystery story. I think I like Lee Archer better.
Mark Zadrozny
Aug 04, 2017 rated it liked it
My first Ross Macdonald. Has a Detroit angle and partial setting during the last year's of WWII.
Duncan McCurdie
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An early Ross Macdonald, originally published under his real name, from 1946. A hard crime novel with aspects of the spy novel too. Almost a cross of Ambler and Jim Thompson. Probably a bit ahead of it's time but it has a real anger and rawness to it that Macdonald would later hone into his celebrated works. A must read for anyone interested in late war and post war America and Macdonald fans.
Ronald Wilcox
Feb 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ross MacDonald (pen name for Kenneth Millar) is an excellent writer of noir type novels. In this one, the protagonist, Sam Drake, a military man during WWII, is in Oahu when he meets a woman named Mary. A friend of hers apparently commits suicide by hanging herself at a party. They then travel to Detroit where another death occurs. On a train ride to San Diego, yet another death happens. Sam falls in love with Mary but feels the need to figure out how these deaths are related, despite her pleas ...more
Otto Penzler
Jan 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
The early works of Ross Macdonald, published under his real name, Kenneth Millar, are hidden gems that precede his iconic Lew Archer novels. Trouble Follows Me takes place during WWII and involves Ensign Sam Drake, a young journalist/naval officer. On the last night that he’s stationed in Hawaii, a young woman is found murdered at the party he had attended. Throughout the rest of the adventure, Drake uncovers various connections to the murder, including a racist conspiracy, and must go to great ...more
Donald Schopflocher
Nov 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Very stylish (except for a tendency to use unusual words) early work. Though the plot was transparent, the leading character poorly motivated, and the resolution trite, MacDonald shares with Chandler the ability to bring unusual situations vividly to life.
Bill Paterson
Apr 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Not my favorite Ross Macdonald, very early stuff before the Lew Archer series, but still some fancy hard-boiled antics.
Don Ravago
Mar 04, 2009 rated it liked it
What DID I learn from this book?
Jun 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, mystery
As with every thing from Macdonald's pen, this was a very satisfying reading experience for me.
Stephen F. Johnson
This is a classic detective novel that takes place after WWII. Ross McDonald is (was) an excellent detective writer.
Meg B.
Sep 15, 2013 added it
I'm just discovering Ross Macdonald. This was the perfect weekend read.
Dec 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
Entertaining--cynical bordering on nihilistic. I enjoyed it.
John Shirreffs
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Jim D'Ambrosia
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Mar 29, 2016
Elizabeth Schaefer
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Aug 12, 2017
Siobhan Cortes
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Mark Goddard
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Gary Lane
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Diane Baker
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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,

Other books in the series

Chet Gordon (2 books)
  • The Dark Tunnel