This is a terrific book, terrific writing, and has sold me on MacDonald. This is the first of the Lew Archer books, and so was the obvioius place to start. One can see that the writing is still dependent on Chandler, the hard-boiled private-eye -- though actually better and more authentic, in my view, than Chandler.
By his own reckoning, MacDonald didn't break out of the mold for another decade, till he wrote the Doomsters.
Also, despite the great story, excellent pacing, terrific writing (or have I said that?), wonderful and believable characters, I didn't totally buy the resolution -- this is a BIG problem with this genre, that as good as the writing can be, they often don't *quite* get the resolution right -- maybe it's a near impossible task -- to maintain suspense and yet close the lid with that inevitability that a good mystery requires.... Anyway, I'll dock the book a point -- for that -- but still a thumbs up and looking forward to reading a lot more of his books.