The Moving Target
infobox Book |
name = The Moving Target
image_caption = Cover of 1998 Vintage edition
language = English
genre = Mystery
publisher = Random House Inc
release_date = 1949
media_type = Print (
isbn = ISBN 9-997-51949-3
The Drowning Pool
"The Moving Target" is a 1949 mystery novel, written by
This is the first Ross Macdonald novel to feature the character of
Lew Archer, who would define the author's career. Lew Archer is hired by the dispassionate wife of an eccentric oil tycoon who has gone missing. Archer must dig through a strange cast of Los Angeles characters, finding crime after crime before he can get to the job he was hired to do.
This novel would become the basis for the 1966
Paul Newmanfilm "Harper", thanks in no small part to then-rookie screenwriter William Goldman.
Ross Macdonald (Kenneth Millar) originally titled this book "The Snatch". When the book was published, he chose the pseudonym John Macdonald after his father, John Macdonald Millar. It is believed he didn't want to use his own name as his wife was already an established writer.
In this book, Macdonald created the fictional city of Santa Teresa as a fictionalized version of
Santa Barbara, California. [cite book |last=Priestman |first=Martin |title=The Cambridge Companion to Crime Fiction |publisher=Cambridge University Press |url=http://books.google.com/books?id=BDGfEOYgStIC&pg=PA109&dq=Santa+Teresa,++macdonald+Lew+Archer.&num=100&sig=zmmb6nnDU4Usxi-AjbrlKh_oStQ |year=2003] In the 1980s, Santa Teresa became home to Kinsey Millhone, a fictional female private investigator created by Sue Grafton.cite news |work= Los Angeles Times|title=Mystery Town: Whodunit author Sue Grafton lines in Santa Barbara and sets her tales in Santa Teresa |date=1991-05-23 |first=Todd |last=Everett |page=J15] Millhone is the protagonist of Grafton's ongoing "alphabet mysteries" series of novels. [cite news |work=Los Angeles Times Magazine |title=G IS FOR GRAFTON Instead of Killing Her Ex-Husband, Sue Grafton Created a Smart-Mouthed, Hard-Boiled (and Incidentally Female) Detective Named Kinsey Millhone |date=1990-02-18 |first=Ellen |last=Hawkes |page=20] [cite book |author=Natalie Hevener Kaufman, Carol McGinnis Kay |title="G" Is for Grafton: The World of Kinsey Millhone |publisher=Henry Holt and Company |id=ISBN 0-8050-5446-4 |edition=Hardcover |year=1997] Grafton chose the setting as a tribute to Macdonald, an acknowledged influence. [cite news |url=http://www.booksense.com/people/archive/nolantom.jsp |title=Ross Macdonald |first=Tom |last=Nolan |work= BookSense|accessdate=2008-06-01]
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