"A WORTHY SUCCESSOR TO HAMMETT AND CHANDLER": FIRST EDITION OF MACDONALD'S 14TH LEW ARCHER NOVEL, THE INSTANT ENEMY, SIGNED WITH HIS FAMOUS PEN NAME OF ROSS MACDONALD AND AS KENNETH MILLAR
(MILLAR, Kenneth) MACDONALD, Ross. The Instant Enemy. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1968. Octavo, original half blue cloth and gold paper-covered boards, original dust jacket. $1200.
First edition of Macdonald's 14th Lew Archer novel—"an extraordinary performance" (Anthony Boucher)—signed by him in his pen name of Ross Macdonald and in his own name of Kenneth Millar, a fine copy in the original dust jacket.
To his contemporaries, Macdonald was clearly seen as “the most distinguished living practitioner of what has become known as the ‘hard-boiled detective fiction and a worthy successor to Hammett and Chandler” (New Republic). In this 14th Lew Archer novel, Macdonald’s detective Lew Archer tracks down a runaway, the daughter of a wealthy Los Angeles executive, only to find her entangled in a web of brutal murder and kidnapping. By 1968, the year Instant Enemy was published, Macdonald’s “reputation within the detective-fiction world… was formidable.” To Edgar-winning writer Joe Gores, he stood “close to godhead, among people who liked hard-boiled. Certainly on the steps of the pantheon.” On publication, Anthony Boucher declared Instant Enemy “an extraordinary performance” (Nolan, 280). "First Edition" stated on copyright page. Bruccoli, Checklist, 52. Barzun & Taylor 2313. Reilly, 987-89. Magill, 1135-40. Bruccoli & Layman, 243. Hubin II:I,527. Steinbrunner & Penzler, 262-63. Bookseller ticket. Tiny inked notation to rear blank.
A fine signed copy.