Sunday, July 10, 2011

Book Report

I'm behind on my book reviews but I have been doing some extremely enjoyable summer reading. Some of it has been done on a beach but, truth be told, most of it has been done with me cozied up to an air-conditioning unit.

One Across, Two Down (1971)
A lazy sad sack in suburban England plots to murder his mother-in-law. Very few of the characters are likable but Ruth Rendell is so masterful that this will-he-get-away-with-it is completely absorbing.

The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper (1968)
An excellent McGee novel by John D. Great bad guy, good location, lots o' ladies. I'm sure I read this before when I was 14 but I was glad to read it again.

Nightmare in Pink (1964)
Pretty sure I've never read this McGee. I thought it was just okay but didn't know while I was reading it that it was the second novel. I changed my tune a little: the novel sets the tone for some of the tropes that John D. perfected later. Plus, the "shock corridor" third act twist in this book is both ludicrous and a lot of fun.

Loot (1999)
A very enjoyable art-heist thriller that takes place partly in Boston. It's one of those mysteries that manages to be a history lesson at the same, detailing the complicated process of returning looted art to their rightful owners after World War II.

The Last One Left (1967)
Slow-going at first this book escalates into one of MacDonald's best. It's full of multiple perspectives and time-jumps, and has one of MacDonald's nastiest villains ever: Chrissy Harkinson, an aging gold-digger going for one last big score.

1 comment:

  1. If one were interested in reading John D. MacDonald but didn't know where to start, what would you suggest as a good starting point?