|Pictured above is a British paperback edition of THE QUICK RED FOX by John D. MacDonald. It's the fourth Travis McGee adventure, first published in 1964. I finished reading it this morning for the second time. I didn't read the edition pictured above, but I like the image.|
In QUICK, gorgeous movie star Lysa Dean is the target of a blackmailer. It seems that she participated in an orgy with several other people at a California beach house. Someone took very graphic photographs of that wild afternoon and has put the touch on Miss Dean not once but twice. She hires the services of Travis McGee to find out who the blackmailer is and put a stop to the threat. McGee is aided in his investigation by Dana Holtzer, Miss Dean's personal assistant.
The trail leads Travis and Dana all the way from Florida to New York, to California, Las Vegas and Phoenix. Along the way they discover that almost everyone else that took part in the orgy is either dead or severely incapacitated. Oh, and by the way, just how many blackmailers are there?
McGee thinks he has it all figured out but he guesses wrong and the identity of the real killer comes as a surprise. But it's too late to stop the murderer from injuring both Travis and Dana. Of course, Travis and Dana wind up in bed and of course, since this is a series and McGee can't be tied down to any one woman, the two part company at the end.
I first read THE QUICK RED FOX thirty some odd years ago back when I was inhaling every John D. MacDonald book I could get my hands on. It's a good one, highlighted by McGee's battle with two bull dyke lesbians in a Las Vegas trailer park. The usual cynical ruminations about mid-century life and culture abound, along with colorful characters, vivid descriptions of place and crackling dialogue. Recommended.