Monday, July 5, 2010

Murder in the Wind (1956)

In this potboiler, about a dozen very distinct characters get caught between two washed-out bridges on the Gulf Coast of Florida during a hurricane. The descriptions of the hurricane are phenomenal and the back-stories of the group of strangers particularly good (and particularly gruesome in a couple of cases). They all hole up in an abandoned house that is slowly coming apart at the seams.

What's interesting is I was really able to see the influence MacDonald had on Stephen King in this book. The plot--a group of strangers brought together to face something terrifying--plus the violence (this really is one of the goriest MacDonalds I have read) both reminded me of how much King reveres and emulates MacDonald.

The hardest sell in this book is how quickly MacDonald shoehorns a romance into the mix. It strains some credibility that in the midst of the carnage, two characters (and you'll know who they are the moment they are introduced) manage to fall in love.

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