The second Lew Archer novel. Plot and thematic structure are not as tight, but still a great read. The focus has shifted from greed and the direct pursuit of wealth to family (or in some cases couples). Archer gains a little back story, depth and flaws: he is less the personification of fate and more an angry and lonely man whose personal choices drive parts of the plot. The primary corruption here involves the ways parents twist their children's love, and lovers exploit each other.