|"Her heart was as cold as a stone at the bottom of a mountain lake."|
I finished reading NIGHTMARE IN PINK (1964) yesterday. This was the second time I've read this one. It's the second Travis McGee novel by the one and only John D. MacDonald and it's a good one. But then, MacDonald never wrote a bad book.
NIGHTMARE finds McGee in New York City, totally out of his more familiar Florida environs. He's there to help Nina, the kid sister of his military buddy Mike who is now a blind invalid in a VA hospital. It seems that Nina's fiance was mugged and killed on the streets of New York. He was also in possession of ten thousand dollars cash, which the muggers didn't take. Was he skimming from the real estate investment company he worked for? Or was something far more sinister going on?
McGee investigates and the trail leads to a financial swindle of enormous scope. Certain crooked parties are cooking the books at the investment company and they will let no one stand in their way. When McGee starts getting too close, he's drugged by a high priced call girl and sent to a private mental hospital where a frontal lobotomy is on the menu for our favorite beach bum/knight errant. He escapes (of course) and turns the tables on his captors but suffers some wicked side effects from the hallucinogenic drugs that have been injected into him.
In addition to busting the conspiracy, McGee beds Nina and the two develop a fairly deep relationship before parting ways at the end of the book. No permanent mate for McGee you know.
NIGHTMARE IN PINK is an excellent Travis McGee adventure full of the elements that make the series so addicting: great characters, wonderful dialogue, wicked villains, beautiful women, believable criminal schemes and lots of trenchant observations about modern society. Recommended.