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The Deep Blue Goodbye - John D. MacDonald

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Genre: Crime / Thriller / Author: John D. MacDonald / Edition: New edition / Paperback / 208 Pages / Book is published 2002-03-21 by Orion

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      28.02.2010 21:47
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      a great crime novel

      The Deep Blue Goodbye is a novel that has been reprinted and put into Gollanz's Crime Masterworks series. I have read a few of the novels in this series, and whilst most of the novels can be described as short pulp fiction, the series contains some great works of crime writing.

      The Deep Blue Goodbye sees Travis McGee as a beach bum investigator who lives on a house boat he won in a poker game in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The plot concerns smuggled treasure acquired during World War Two. Junior Allen has got hold of this money from a man he befriended whilst in prison. The original owner's daughter is destitute and seeks the help of McGee to find Allen and get her share of the money back from him. Problem is, Allen is psychotic rapist and murderer who won't let go of his money that easily.

      I enjoyed the characterisation of Travis McGee, a man who seems to just drift through life and be obviously a 'beach bum'. He works for money when he can get it - not quite a private investigator, but s retriever who will take fifty per cent of what he recovers. He lives on a houseboat and by all accounts is a bit of a rogue who manages also to bed all the girls. MacDonald wrote a full 21 novels with McGee as the title character each with a colour somewhere in the title right through from this one written in 1964 through to the 1980's.

      There is also a good bad-guy in this novel as well. Junior Allen comes across as a psycho who likes to degrade women and take them for everything they've got. This makes the book easy to read, as you want Allen to get him comeuppance.

      I also really enjoyed the vivid descriptions of Florida and its surrounds. It's all very authentic and really puts you in a time and place which is what you want from a great novel. McDonald has written a really good book here and I might try and check out some of the other Travis McGee books.

      I really enjoyed The Deep Blue Goodbye; it had all the elements of a great thriller/crime novel. It had a great story and a fantastic conclusion. It was action packed and for a novel written in the 60's. Is still very readable today. Its depiction of women is a little out of touch with today and its description of sex is a little airy-fairy. But both of these criticisms really don't matter as it's a novel of its age. I've read several novels in this series now, and this one is probably the best of the lot.

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