Macdonald's real name was Ken Millar, and his background, growing up without a father, influenced much of the psychological underpinnings to his intricate plots.
Macdonald created the character of Lew Archer, a PI, who lived in southern California. Noland begins with Macdonald's very humble beginnings, growing up in Canada, and proceeds through the many turns in his life, including his sometimes stormy marriage to Margaret Millar, another writer. Noland shows how Macdonald's real life is entwined in many ways with that his fictional PI.
The book is rich with well sourced quotes from the literary and publishing communities, giving the reader an inside view. The book also includes a section of annotated notes, which are very helpful to the researcher or student of the genre.
This report prepared by Patricia Harrington