RARA-AVIS: JDM'S *The End of the Night*

From: Bludis Jack ( buildsnburns@yahoo.com)
Date: 20 Jun 2003

*The End of the Night,* Fawcett Gold Medal. 1960 is one of JDM's non-McGees.

The novel, about what JDM calls "The Wolfpack Murders." is about "Three men and a beautiful girl on a cross-country terror spredd--a coast-to-coast rampage of stealing, kidnapping, rape and killing." (So says the back cover)

The book begins with no surprises begins with a letter from one of the executioners describing the execution of the four "rampagers."

What follows is alternate point of view incidents leaing up to the actual capture of the four. Each point of view is written in a different voice, but as always, McGee imposes his own brand of poetic prose on each character.

Which is the problem I had with the book. The most focused characters are one member of "the wolf pack," a drop out from college just a few weeks before graduation; the other is the group's last victim, a well-to-do young lady who who is about to get married but who is in the wrong place at the wrong time.

One gets the feeling that JDM in this one, was writing for the ages and didn't quite hit the mark.

JDM attempts to create an atmosphere where a bright college drop-out could manage to join up with and participate in spree killing. He tries to show his gradual loss of conscience. In some ways he succeeds, in others he fails.

The book is noir with homage, I think, to William Faulkner. It's a good read that in the beginning had me reassessing JDM and putting him back with the Chandler and Hammett, but JDM did not follow through.

All opinion of course.

I am now going to read *Dead Low Tide,* which many of you have recommended.

Jack Bludis

===== http://JackBludis.com

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