A parole officer gets drawn into a kidnapping plot when he is convinced one of his parolees is innocent. In trying to find the kidnapped child, our protagonist gets drawn into a dark tangle of broken families and failing marriages in Ross Macdonald's Meet Me At The Morgue.
Like many, I find Ross Macdonald's Lew Archer mysteries one of the touchstone series of contemporary crime fiction. Macdonald's eye for the inner lives of people as well as the external world he lived in (centered around California) is unparalleled. I long ago devoured most of the series.
This is a non-series work, but features a lot of the key themes of Macdonald's writing. A bit more workmanlike than some of his novels, but features several memorable turns of phrase and passages of fine writing.
I bought this for a quarter at a library book sale and read it even as the yellowed pages were falling out of it. Made me hanker to find more Ross Macdonald that I had previously not read.