Book Review: The Quick Red Fox (1964), et al

… and four others from the master of detective genre
John D. MacDonald

If you’re going to have a reading addiction, you can do a lot worse than the works of Mr. MacDonald.  Here are four more earlier Travis McGee books I’m sneaking into my program:

MacDonald is one of the most prolific writers of quality detective thrillers in history.  The Travis McGee Series consists of 21 books; with these I’m reviewing I’ve read a total of seven.  Like some of my favorite authors—especially Larry McMurtry, Elmore Leonard, or Tony Hillerman—or favorite extended stories in cinema—Lonesome Dove, the TV series Friday Night Lights, or the miniseries John Adams—it’s going to be really tough for me to reach the end of the road and read the final John MacDonald Travis McGee book.  Fortunately, there are several more to come.

RedThe Quick Red Fox

1964, Fawcett Publications, 160 pages

In this installment of the McGee series, a well-known actress is being blackmailed with photographs for once having participated in a sex and drug bacchanalia several years earlier.  Travis is retained by the actress under direction of a beautiful young personal assistant, Dana, who starts off with him like an ice queen, but eventually comes around.  They travel together to track down each individual who was present at the incident, doing the detective work to find the blackmailers and put them out of business.

As with virtually all of his works, MacDonald has Travis speak out against and in favor of various cultural realities (these will occupy much of my reviews on this page).  The following two segments occur close to each other, as Travis and Dana home in on one of the suspects in Southern California.  This first hits home with virtually anyone of the freedom persuasion: Continue reading