The Three Roads (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $15.95
  • Save: $2.82 (18%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Like New | Details
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Used like new. Book looks new and unread but spine lower edge has some moderate shelving wear from storage. Amazon fulfilled item
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Three Roads (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) Paperback – January 11, 2011

See all 29 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
Hardcover, Import
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$6.28 $2.55
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Frequently Bought Together

The Three Roads (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) + Blue City (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) + Trouble Follows Me
Price for all three: $37.27

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on selected titles, including the current pick, "The Good Girl" by Mary Kubica.

Product Details

  • Series: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (January 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307740765
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307740762
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #809,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Ross Macdonald’s real name was Kenneth Millar.  Born near San Francisco in 1915 and raised in Ontario, Millar returned to the U.S. as a young man and published his first novel in 1944. He served as the president of the Mystery Writers of America and was awarded their Grand Master Award as well as the Mystery Writers of Great Britain's Gold Dagger Award.  He died in 1983.

About the Author

“[The] American private eye, immortalized by Hammett, refined by Chandler, brought to its zentih by Macdonald.” —New York Times Book Review
“Macdonald should not be limited in audience to connoisseurs of mystery fiction.  He is one of a handful of writers in the genre whose worth and quality surpass the limitations of the form.” —Los Angeles Times
“Most mystery writers merely write about crime.  Ross Macdonald writes about sin.” —The Atlantic
“Without in the least abating my admiration for Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, I should like to venture the heretical suggestion that Ross Macdonald is a better novelist than either of them.” —Anthony Boucher
“[Macdonald] carried form and style about as far as they would go, writing classic family tragedies in the guise of private detective mysteries.” —The Guardian (London)
“[Ross Macdonald] gives to the detective story that accent of class that the late Raymond Chandler did.” —Chicago Tribune

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Michael G. VINE VOICE on April 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
The Three Roads, an early work from the prolific pen of the legendary Ross Macdonald, is an interesting and worthwhile read, especially for readers who are already Macdonald fans. It was written before Macdonald had decided to concentrate completely on the hardboiled detective genre and is probably best described as a psychological thriller.

The plot revolves around Paula West, a strong willed and successful Hollywood screenwriter and the man she loves; Lt. Bret Taylor, a naval officer who suffers from amnesia. The story is told as a third person narration and takes place a few months after the end of WWII.

The first half of The Three Roads is strongly written and stands on its own as compelling reading. This part of the novel is noteworthy for its clever dialogue, its detailed development of the two principal characters and its very smooth narrative flow. The second half is less compelling in that it gets bogged down by both overwrought psychoanalytic theories and some plot elements that are rather implausible, to say the least.

Lt. Taylor is a very troubled man and his problems can be traced back to losing his mother when he was only four. Those familiar with Ross Macdonald's biography know that he himself was four when his parent's separated. That event had a terrible impact on Macdonald and is something he never really got over. Virtually all of his fiction, to one degree or another, centers around the profound and long term consequences of family dysfunction.

The Three Roads is a well written, though flawed, mystery in its own right. It also serves to illustrate how Ross Macdonald's lifelong effort to exorcise his own demons manifested itself early on.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rich on February 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An interesting view of a writer still finding his voice, The Three Roads is a bit too slack and talky to hold one's attention for very long. An extremely unlikable damaged veteran tries to recover his memory and find his wife's killer as his improbably loyal former paramour either helps him or holds him back. The psycho-babble is a bit much, the plotting is weak and the characters' persistent failure to act like real human beings and more like psychological studies lead to some really groaners. But MacDonald is still an entertaining writer, and this is a fun read for anyone who appreciates his admirable later work.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an early MacDonald (1948) and wasn't as good a read as his later work - which, admittedly is an extremely high standard to aspire to. The first third of the book builds up the history of the characters and is slow going: Brett is a recovering amnesiac WWII veteran just after the end of WWII and the mystery involves his first wife; the love interest is his girl/fiancee Paula. In places there are bits of dated Freudian psycho-babble. After the slow beginning the The story transitions into a typical hard-boiled detective novel, although not as complex as MacDonald's later novels. The best parts of the book were the descriptions/characterizations in the second half. For comparison, I've read most of what MacDonald wrote after 'The Way Some People Die' (1951) and I'd rate most of those books (including 'The Way...') 3.5-5 stars.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?