THE SCARLET RUSE by John D. MacDonald


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First published in paperback in 1973, this is non-vintage but very drinkable MacDonald--as Travis McGee does his sidekick Meyer a favor by coming to the assistance of Hersh Felderman, an elderly Miami stamp dealer. Felderman has been conned by a sleek mobster in league with Felderman's assistant, Junoesque brunette Mary Alice McDermit (who has a shady past and a short-lived magnetism for McGee); and then Jane Lawson, Felderman's other assistant, is found murdered in her ransacked apartment. Can McGee sort out the motivations (lots of lust and greed), catch the killer, retrieve Felderman's fortune, and keep himself (and Meyer) alive all the while? Need you ask? The plotting here is absolutely dandy, as are the seedily rounded characters; the primary catch is the MacDonald preaching on life values--which has happily become implicit (rather than, as here, hortatory) in recent McGees. Still, MacDonald is MacDonald, and that means top tension and fine detail--qualities that surely deserve hard-cover preservation.
Pub Date: March 14th, 1980
ISBN: 0449224775
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Lippincott
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1980


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