The Main is a detective story with enough wit and perception to attract readers who don't give a damn who killed Roger Ackroyd. Lieutenant La Pointe plods around a shabby quarter of Montreal trying to identify a murderer, though just who the villain may be seems almost irrelevant—of less concern to us than La Pointe himself, for he is getting old and has a bad heart and is lonely. One night he picks up a crippled girl. He doesn't much like her, nor does she like him; but she stays on day after day because she has no place to go, and from his point of view it's better than coming home to an empty apartment. So they more or less live together while La Pointe worries about his heart and attempts to solve the crime.
Trevanian's narrative style is warm, his raffish characters sketched with considerable insight, he knows how our minds drift, and he has a feeling for the moments, the hours, and the seasons of human life.
Evan Connell, in a review of "The Main," in Harper's Magazine (copyright © 1976 by Harper's Magazine; all rights reserved; reprinted from the November, 1976 issue by special permission), Vol. 253, No. 1518, November, 1976, p. 104.