Sunday, August 10, 2014


I finished reading ONE FEARFUL YELLOW EYE yesterday afternoon. Originally published in 1966 and recently reprinted by Random House in a handsome trade paperback edition, it's the eighth Travis McGee adventure written by the late, great John D. MacDonald. It's the fourth McGee novel I've re-read this year (after THE DEEP BLUE GOOD-BY, NIGHTMARE IN PINK and A PURPLE PLACE FOR DYING). Like those books (and many other MacDonald titles), I read YELLOW EYE for the first time about thirty years ago. I remember having read it but I didn't recall the particulars of the story.

In this one, McGee gets called to Chicago (a city he doesn't much care for) to aid his old friend Gloria Geis. It seems her late husband, the successful and wealthy Dr. Fortner Geis, converted almost all of his assets to cash before he died of a terminal disease. The trouble is, that cash, in the amount of six hundred thousand dollars, can't be found. It appears that someone put the squeeze on the good doctor. But who, for what reason and where is the money now?

McGee's investigation uncovers some dark family secrets before he finally stumbles upon the truth of what really happened. Oh and he manages to defrost a frigid, sexually repressed young woman with a few waves of his patented "magic dick". After tying up loose ends in Chicago, McGee returns to Florida with the young lady in tow but there's yet one last twist of the narrative knot to come.

ONE FEARFUL YELLOW EYE features a couple of very bad characters as the villains behind the scheme but there's not much action to speak of until the very end of the book and when it comes, it's worth the wait. But before that, MacDonald gives us another cast of well drawn characters, makes McGee and us look one way when what's really going on is right over here and tons of McGee's unique perspective on the modern world. Thumbs up.

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