The Dark Tunnel

Open Road Media
Free sample

On the home front, two wartime lovers reunite under a cloud of paranoia in this thriller from Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Ross Macdonald
In 1937 Munich, an American must be careful when he smokes his pipe. Robert Branch, a careless academic, makes the mistake of lighting up when the Führer is about to begin a procession, and nearly gets pummeled for his mistake. Only the timely intervention of Ruth Esch, a flame-haired actress, saves him. So begins a month-long romance between East and West—a torrid affair that ends when the lovers make the mistake of defending a Jew, earning Branch a beating and Esch a trip to a concentration camp. Six years later, Esch escapes to Vichy and makes her way to Detroit. To her surprise, Branch is waiting for her. He is a professor, working for the war effort, and his paranoia about a spy inside the Motor City war board sours their reunion. Once again, a dangerous net is encircling these lovers—a reminder that, in this war, love always comes second to death.
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About the author

Ross Macdonald was a pseudonym for Kenneth Millar (1915–1983), an author of detective fiction best known for creating the character of Lew Archer, a California PI. Born in California, Millar lived in Ontario, Canada, until his father abandoned his mother, uprooting the family and forcing them to move again and again over the next few years—a formative experience that would often be echoed in Millar’s work. While attending the University of Michigan, Millar began writing pulp fiction, publishing his first novel, The Dark Tunnel, in 1944. Millar introduced Lew Archer, the tough-but-sensitive private detective, in the 1946 short story “Find the Woman.” The Moving Target (1949) was the first of more than a dozen Lew Archer novels, which established Millar as one of the finest crime novelists of his day. He is often included in the “holy trinity of detective fiction,” along with Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.  
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Jan 22, 2013
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Pages
244
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ISBN
9781453290521
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Thrillers / Espionage
Fiction / Thrillers / Historical
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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When he died in 1983, Ross Macdonald was the best-known and most highly regarded crime-fiction writer in America. Long considered the rightful successor to the mantles of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald and his Lew Archer-novels were hailed by The New York Times as "the finest series of detective novels ever written by an American."
Now, in the first full-length biography of this extraordinary and influential writer, a much fuller picture emerges of a man to whom hiding things came as second nature. While it was no secret that Ross Macdonald was the pseudonym of Kenneth Millar -- a Santa Barbara man married to another good mystery writer, Margaret Millar -- his official biography was spare. Drawing on unrestricted access to the Kenneth and Margaret Millar Archives, on more than forty years of correspondence, and on hundreds of interviews with those who knew Millar well, author Tom Nolan has done a masterful job of filling in the blanks between the psychologically complex novels and the author's life -- both secret and overt.
Ross Macdonald came to crime-writing honestly. Born in northern California to Canadian parents, Kenneth Millar grew up in Ontario virtually fatherless, poor, and with a mother whose mental stability was very much in question. From the age of twelve, young Millar was fighting, stealing, and breaking social and moral laws; by his own admission, he barely escaped being a criminal. Years later, Millar would come to see himself in his tales' wrongdoers. "I don't have to be violent," he said, "My books are."
How this troubled young man came to be one of the most brilliant graduate students in the history of the University of Michigan and how this writer, who excelled in a genre all too often looked down upon by literary critics, came to have a lifelong friendship with Eudora Welty are all examined in the pages of Tom Nolan's meticulous biography. We come to a sympathetic understanding of the Millars' long, and sometimes rancorous, marriage and of their life in Santa Barbara, California, with their only daughter, Linda, whose legal and emotional traumas lie at the very heart of the story. But we also follow the trajectory of a literary career that began in the pages of Manhunt and ended with the great respect of such fellow writers as Marshall McLuhan, Hugh Kenner, Nelson Algren, and Reynolds Price, and the longtime distinguished publisher Alfred A. Knopf.
As Ross Macdonald: A Biography makes abundantly clear, Ross Macdonald's greatest character -- above and beyond his famous Lew Archer -- was none other than his creator, Kenneth Millar.
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