Phoebe Wycherly was missing two months before her wealthy father hired Archer to find her. That was plenty of time for a young girl who wanted to disappear to do so thoroughly--or for someone to make her disappear. Before he can find the Wycherly girl, Archer has to deal with the Wycherly woman, Phoebe's mother, an eerily unmaternal blonde who keeps too many residences, has too many secrets, and leaves too many corpses in her wake.
Sign of decline, June 15, 2001 Reviewer: greg hill from san mateo, ca United States Ross MacDonald is an accomplished mystery writer, but this novel, while entertaining, is the most contrived of his many books. It rests on a case of mistaken identity that could not possible have occured, given the ages of the two characters involved. Sadly, this novel offers the first sign that MacDonald was losing his great gifts as a writer.