Books: Reasonable Facsimile

FIND A VICTIM (215 pp.)—John Ross Macdonald—Knopf ($2.75).

For most purposes of fiction or journalism, the man who minds his own business has the same handicap as a happy family: no story. But the hit-him-again-he's-breathing mystery writers have created a whole gallery of private-eye heroes whose most exciting cases come along when they are winding up a tough assignment and contemplating a little bruise-healing solitude.

It was that way with Lew Archer, quick-thinking, fast-moving hero of John Ross Macdonald's Find a Victim. Tooling along a California highway on the way to Sacramento, he saw "the ghastliest hitchhiker who ever thumbed me. He rose...

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