RARA-AVIS: Re: Drowning pool

Marian Poller (mpoller@netvision.net.il)
Sun, 11 Jan 1998 23:17:24 +0200 Marian Poller@netvision.net.il
I read it over the weekend. I was impressed. Years ago I read a lot
of Macdonald's later works, the ones on the front page of NYTBR. They
all seemed to be about finding a missing child or similar. This book
doesn't have that theme for which I'm grateful. It does have Archer,
a hardworking P.I. hired by a married woman. He goes to her town and
then to her home and gets caught up in the murder of her
mother-in-law on that very day. I didn't figure out whodunnit so the
ending was a surprise, but it made sense.

The characters were well drawn and the writing was succinct. My copy
had less than 200 pp while the latest Healy I just finished, Invasion
of privacy, had 100 more and as much as I like Healy, I think he
could learn something in brevity from RM.

I enjoyed the setting of Calif life in 1951 which was not so crowded
as it is now. But the characters are true for today too. The wife's
husband and his lover could have been written in any of today's
books. Some of the people like the barman are maybe too nice for
today so they wouldn't transfer. The policeman who turned out to play
such an intregal part in the story, was also impressive as a person.
The only part of the story that bothered me was the Kilbourne. The
characters just didn't seem real. The violence was well described and
I liked the scene where Archer manages to escape from the
hydrotherapy room by getting the water faucets to open and float him
to the ceiling.

How about that young man who was willing to drive Archer and prisoner
Reavis back for $10?
And the writing: "What sort of a boy is he? I've seen him around, but
never talked to him."
"There's nothing wrong with him a pre-frontal lobotomy wouldn't
fix..." p.56
I'm glad this book was suggested for reading. Found it on my ancient
TBR pile.
Marian Poller@netvision.net.il
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