Monthly Archives: February 2016

John D. MacDonald’s Death Trap

john d macdonald death trapDeath Trap
John D. MacDonald
Fawcett Gold Medal, 1957
mmpb, 191 pgs.,

If you recall, I picked up some old John D. MacDonald paperbacks last summer, which I wrote about here, with one reviewed here.

Well, while I was laid up with the flu last week, I got the hankering to read another one rather than the fantasy novel I’m susposed to be reading for review.  (I blame it on the pharmaceuticals.)

This is one of MacDonald’s earliest novels and went through a number of reprintings, as evidenced by not only several different covers, but several different prices on the same cover illustration.

The setup in this one is pretty straight forward.  MacReedy works for an international construction company.  A few years ago he was in charge of widening a highway from two to four lanes outside a small college town.  While there he meets a young woman named Vicky Landy, whose whiz-kid brother is a freshman at the college.  Vicky and Alister are orphans, and Alister is one of those brilliant kids who hasn’t quite caught the knack of fitting in socially.

MacReedy seduces Vicky, a seduction that culminates just as he is finishing the job.  Vicky had hoped to marry him, and he leaves her with a broken heart.  MacReedy spends the next three years in Spain on a major project, but he can’t get Vicky out of his mind.

Upon his return, he is planning on taking a couple of months off to do some fishing when he sees a small story on the back page of the paper.  Alister is set to be executed for the rape and murder of a 16 year old girl. Continue reading

When a Thousand Crows Fall

Thousand Falling CrowsA Thousand Falling Crows
Larry D. Sweazy
Seventh Street Books
Paperback $15.95
ebook $ $11.99

I love noir, especially Depression Era noir, and most especially when it’s set in my home state of Texas. So A Thousand Falling Crows was my pint of hooch. Many thanks to the good folks at Seventh Street Books for the review copy.  Seventh Street has an outstanding line, and I need to get caught up on a number of their titles.

Sonny Burton is a Texas Ranger in the Panhandle who has been forced to retire after a shootout with Bonnie and Clyde in which he took a bullet in his right arm. Now the arm has been amputated, Sonny is no longer a Ranger, and he’s got to figure out what to do with the rest of his life.

He befriends the janitor, Aldo Hernandez, at the hospital. Aldo’s daughter has stolen her father’s recipe for bathtub gin and run off with a couple of minor league bootleggers, twin brothers. Aldo is afraid she’s going to end up in serious trouble with the law. He’s right. His daughter and the brothers are about to set out on a Bonnie and Clyde crime spree that is only going to escalate. Continue reading