In The Chill a distraught young man hires private investigator Lew Archer to track down his runaway bride. But no sooner has he found Dolly Kincaid than Archer finds himself entangled in two murders, one twenty years old, the other so recent that the blood is still wet. What ensues is a detective novel of nerve-racking suspense, desperately believable characters, and one of the most intricate plots ever spun by an American crime writer.
Ross MacDonald picked up where Raymond Chandler left off. His detective, Lew Archer, is a man of his time, but his charcter holds up nicely. "The Chill" is considered by many to be his finest novel. It's definitely one of the most complex, but it follows the classic MacDonald structure that the best of his books employ. There's always a secret or a crime that he stumbles into. In this case, a twenty year old murder. If you've never read one of his novels, this is an excellent place to start, a book well worth owning.