When Travis McGee's friend Meyer lent his boat to his niece Norma and her new husband Evan, the boat exploded out in the waters of the Florida Keys. Travis McGee thinks it's no accident, and clues lead him to ponder possibilities of drugs and also to wonder where Evan was when his wife was killed.
©1982 John D. MacDonald Publishing, Inc. (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Having read this book when it came out--and audiobooks were in their primitive infancy (remember all those cassettes in large boxes that came through the mail?), it really is difficult to compare the printed and audio versions of this series. I actually can remember when the earliest Travis McGee titles were paperback originals back in the late 1960s.
This is a book where Meyer has a star turn, but the first victim (in the story line) and the villain are three-dimensional, well realized characters.
He has been remarkable consistent throughout this entire series--it must be approaching 175 hours of reading. It always is difficult taking on a well-known character, but for the most part his "voices" have been well thought out and logical. I would be happy to listen to him again.
I was pleased that this series recovered nicely after it flagged a bit as the number of titles approached twenty.
In the future (now) sociologists and environmental historians will have a field day reading through these volumes for the commentary on the decay of the American dream--and the destruction of Florida through over development--from the 1960s through the 1980s. These must be some of the earliest soundings of environmental alarms to appear in mainstream literature.Listen to these now.
Rumor has it that one of them will become a major motion picture soon and I would be surprised if they can do it without "damaging" the original material. Just compare MacDonald's "The Executioners" with either of the movie versions of it (both titled, "Cape Fear").
This is; in my opinion; the best of the McGee series. The relationship between Travis and Anne is well crafted. The recovery of Meyer from the events from "Free Fall in Crimson is both plaintive and redemptive." The road trip that McGee and Meyer take to Texas is especially well done. The ultimate climatic scene is more understated than the usual McGee finale. A great read all the way through.
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