The Far Side of the Dollar
Lew Archer finds himself once again tracking a squalid family history thick with Freudian droppings in this late effort. Perhaps too late, as Archer in ’60s California seems as out of his element as Poirot in swinging London. The story has some strong elements, and the passions at the core of the drama are quite powerful, but Archer’s paternalism plays false. As for the kids these days, Macdonald’s young people are rarely realistically or sympathetically presented, I think mainly because he tries too hard for both qualities. It all makes for an uneven ride, but there’s a lot here for fans to savour.