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McGee Is In Deep Water!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Empty Copper Sea (Mass Market Paperback)
Ever since John D. MacDonald introduced his hero, Travis McGee in "The Deep Blue Good-by" in 1964, readers have looked forward to the next installment of this hero of hue--each McGee title contains a color--and the man Time magazine calls "a knight in tarnished armor." In "The Empty Copper Sea," we find Travis once again setting sail to right the wrongs of the oppressed, the downtrodden, the underdog in this, the 17th of the series. In this installment, we find the usual assortment of suspects, friends and other unique characters and it is up to Travis and friend Meyer to sort everything out. Hub Lawless is reported to have drowned after falling overboard at sea, but no one seems to believe this, especially the insurance company responsible for a $2 million policy payment and certainly not Travis McGee, whose good friend Van Harder is held responsible for Lawless' death. And Trav is not one to see his friends wronged. And wronged Harder is, especially when we discover an anonymously sent photograph of Lawless sipping beer somewhere in Mexico. Something is rotten in that state, as well! The plot and characters enter a convoluted trail, nevertheless, but MacDonald is a master at keeping everything in order and as the plot is revealed sense is made of all the comings and goings. The New Yorker has called MacDonald's books a "satisfying mixture of gentle sex and bloody violence" and "Empty Copper Sea" is no exception. MacDonald does not hold back on his violence (remember, he also wrote "Cape Fear"!) and the book cruises on course to its violent--and surprising--climax. It is the interplay between Travis and Meyer that makes the book more than just an action novel: Meyer, the renown economist, intellectual, and Travis's alter ego, and McGee, the Don Quixote of Ft. Lauderdamndale, working out of Slip F-18 in Bahia Mar aboard his houseboat "The Busted Flush." The McGee books have sold millions and continue to hold their own in bookshelves today, a fitting tribute to MacDonald's ability to capture themes, characters, and plots for all time. A number of attempts has been made to film McGee (the last was a dreadful version of "Empty Copper Sea" with an equally dreadful Sam Elliott as Travis, who just couldn't capture the essence of MacDonald's McGee, no matter how hard he tried!) but so far, these attempts have fallen short. MacDonald's prose, perhaps, is not to be transported to the screen. No matter. He's still worth the read!