The era is the 1970s; the setting is Southern California. Lew Archer has been hired to retrieve a stolen canvas reputed to be the work of the celebrated Richard Chantry, who vanished in 1950 from his home in Santa Teresa. It is the portrait of an unknown woman.Suddenly, Lew finds himself drawn into a web of family complications and masked brutalities stretching back 50 years, through a world where money talks or buys silence, where social prominence is a murderous weapon, where, behind the plausible facades of homes not quite broken but badly bent, a heritage of lies and evasions pushes troubled men and women deeper into trouble. And as he pursues the Chantry portrait, and the larger mystery of Richard Chantry, Archer himself is shaken as never before, by a woman.More
"[The] American private eye, immortalized by Hammett, refined by Chandler, [is] brought to its zenith by Macdonald." (New York Times Book Review)
"Tom Parker shows his talent as he captures the emotions of Archer, as well as the secondary characters, while maintaining the tempo of the story." (AudioFile)
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