Helena Pearson. Undeniably beautiful... indisputably rich... incredibly wanton... the perfect client for Travis McGee. He did a big favor for her husband and then for the lady herself. Now Helena is dead, and McGee finds out that she had one last request to make of him: find out why her beautiful daughter, Maurie, keeps trying to kill herself. So, half-convinced that Maurie needs a good doctor and not a devil-may-care beach bum, McGee makes his way to the prosperous town of Fort Courtney, Florida, a respectable, booming, deadly little place.
©1968 John D. MacDonald Publishing, Inc. (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I read this last in print back when I was in college and it had just come out. Trav receives a letter from a woman he'd known years earlier asking him to find a way to save her older daughter from an apparent self-destructive bent. But little is as it appears once he arrives and meets again the woman he last saw as a bereaved adolescent.
Well written and paced, and the appreciation for what was being done to the woman was way ahead of its time.
Definitely recommended. And Petkoff has definitely made the McGee series his own!
Special thanks to Sasha, Stacy and Stef for sharing the Audible experience with me and being the best of company during my recovery.
Travis is given the assignment of saving a dying lover's child. I swear being a lover of McGee's has a higher fatality rate than smoking three packs a day in an Asbestos factory full of hazardous waste. Perhaps I'll do a study of the percentage of his paramour's that died early; it must be about the same level as that of a wartime infantry platoon.
When McGee gets to the daughter's home in Fort Courtney Florida he finds a beautiful married woman with a childlike demeanor and a history of suicide. He checks into a motel; is picked up by a woman trying to set him up with a barbiturate loaded bottle of gin; he has a fight with her married boyfriend and then spends the night with the woman after the two of them argue; hey what a day.
McGee gets involved with a couple of the motel's black maids when one grabs a few drinks out of the bottle of doctored gin and passes out in his room. Another of the maids at the motel agrees to help McGee find information; for a price. An assignment that she fulfills by presenting him with information that helps him greatly in solving the case. It was a long time coming for a man living in south Florida but in the tenth book in the series McGee interacts with a person of African descent.
As always all the women in the book are eager to share McGee's bed but he only racks up two notches on the bedpost in the present.
His attitudes gradually became more enlightened as the series continued and this time there are no misogynistic comments on the sexuality of any of the women in the book. Though when it came to the mother, Helena some of his opinions smack of turn of the century Freudianism. As always the writing is top notch and if you can ride with the implausibility's of the plot and the outdated attitudes this is a great listening experience.
A series like this can get very predictable and tiresome. John MacDonald was a rare author that managed to deliver interesting stories even in such a challenging context. McGee and Meyer are interesting characters and I continue to enjoy watching them evolve from one book to the next. This series is the diametric opposite to Stuart Woods' Stone Barrington books, which are mind-numbingly predictable and formulaic. The Travis McGee series is one of the more compelling options in the genre; strong recommendation to start at the beginning and read them all...
I really wish I had read these books when I was younger! Who knows, I might be a boat bum now! But this is excellent Travis McGee. A really good listen and lot of fun,
Jonathan Maberry is a NY Times best-selling author, multiple Bram Stoker Award-winner, anthology editor and comic book writer.
Robert Petkoff has really captured the balance of idealistic optimism and jaded cynicism that defined Travis McGee.
This was a gripping story and very well narrated. I am definitely going to read many more Travis McGee books!
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