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The Ferguson Affair    by Ross Macdonald order for
Ferguson Affair
by Ross Macdonald
Order:  USA  Can
Vintage, 2010 (1960)
Softcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Bestselling English author P.D. James wrote that 'Macdonald is the first among those novelists who raised the genre from its roots in pulp fiction to serious literature.' I didn't know that about him. I do know that I was reading him back when my babies were small. I loved his books then, and I love them now, the second time around.

The time frame is 1960. Macdonald's plots can be complicated but are very finely written, with every detail and clue falling into place at just the right time. I love his analogies, which often make me reconsider something I always thought mundane and find the beauty in it.

With The Ferguson Affair, he goes all out with plot. An older, oil-rich man, Ferguson, has married a young woman and is afraid of losing her. When it appears she has been kidnapped, he is distraught. Defense lawyer Bill Gunnarson tries to help and falls into a mess anyone would have trouble clearing up. But Gunnarson is up to the task.

In the meantime, more is happening on the sidelines. Expensive jewelry has been stolen, people are being disposed of in a permanent fashion, and we meet more unusual characters who seem to never be what they appear on the surface. The Ferguson Affair is excellent reading.

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