You Live Once
John D. MacDonald
This was originally published as a Fawcett Gold Medal book, but the edition I have is a later one without that designation on the cover. But it’s still a great book. It’s one of the bundle I wrote about in my last post.
Clint Sewell is a rising middle manager in a midwest firm. He’s fairly new to town. Lately he’s been seen in the company of a local heiress, one Mary Olen. Even though Clint would like things to happen with her, their relationship is something of a ruse. Clint’s boss, Dodd Raymond, who happens to be married, is a hometown boy. He and Mary knew each other years ago. Now that he’s back in town, they’re having an affair. He’s got Clint acting as Mary’s date so he can spend time with her.
The book opens with Clint being awakened from a deep sleep by a couple of police officers. Mary didn’t come home last night, and Clint was the last person seen with her. He tells them the truth. Mary dropped him off after a double date with the Raymonds. She was supposed to pick him up and take him up to a party at her family’s lake house.
The police believe him and leave. Clint goes into his bedroom to get dressed and finds Mary in his closet. She’s been strangled by one of Clint’s belts. In a panic, Clint disposes of her body. He soon realizes that this was a mistake. But it’s too late to turn back now. Clint can only hope he can find the real killer before suspicion is focused on him. Continue reading
If you’re ever in Ruidoso, New Mexico, check out Dog Eared Paperbacks. I was there a few weeks ago, and I came across a bundle of eleven vintage John D. MacDonald paperbacks. That’s ten of them on the right. (I couldn’t get One More Sunday to fit in the picture in a way I liked.)
I’d like to thank Patsy, the proprietor. The bundle was cash only, and I didn’t have enough left to cover the cost. She graciously let me send her a check when I got home and mailed them to me. They showed up in the mail last weekend.
I’m going to be diving into them over the next few months, so watch this space for reviews. You just don’t find MacDonald titles anymore. I’m looking forward reading these.
The Shadow Broker
So back in the middle of June or thereabouts, I received an email from Trace Conger. Mr. Conger had seen my post about the Shamus Awards. His novel The Shadow Broker had made the final ballot for best independently published novel, and would I be interested in reviewing it? I said I would, but I didn’t think I could get to it before sometime in August as I had a pretty full slate. He said that would be fine and sent me an electronic copy. (Many thanks, sir.)
In fairness, I can’t say whether The Shadow Broker is deserving of the award simply because I haven’t read any of the other independently published titles on the ballot. But I can say that it certainly deserves to be on the ballot and should be hard to beat. Continue reading
Yeah, I know, it’s been a while. This summer has been busier than I thought it would be. I’ll be back with a review of one of the Shamus Award nominees just as soon has I can get the ebook file off my dying hard drive. Anyway, until then, I though I’d link to an interesting interview with Bill Crider conducted by Ben Boulden. I’m a fan of Bill’s work, and you can expect me to review some of it here at some point. There’s some great discussion about Bill’s early work as well as his latest release in the long running Sheriff Dan Rhodes series.
Here’s the interview.