CAPE FEAR (FORMERLY TITLED THE EXECUTIONERS)
John D. MacDonald
Sam Bowden, a lawyer, lawyer, happily married, the father of three, and a peaceable man is also a defenseless one when Max Cady, a soldier whom he had helped to convict during the war on a rape charge, is released from jail and threatens to kill him six times over. The police can offer him little protection; his dog is poisoned; one of his kids is shot at- and grazed; and his own efforts to hire a team to work on Cady fail. Finally offering Carol, his wife, as a live target, he is able to end a long ordeal.... A likable family-very vulnerable at the hands of a vicious killer- this has a real menace and momentum.