Re: RARA-AVIS: The Long Lavender Look

From: Doug Bassett (
Date: 19 Oct 2003

This is my personal favorite of the McGee series -- the plot is tighter than most and the philosophizing
(while still there) is cut down to a minimum. I also enjoy the attitude throughout -- there's a snarky, cynical edge to McGee here that doesn't often pop up. His love interest this go-round, for instance, is handled in a very unusual way.


recent hb reads: K.C. Constantine's MAN WHO LIKED TO LOOK AT HIMSELF/A FIX LIKE THIS; Brett Halliday's FIT TO KILL, both recommended. Also rediscovering Erle Stanley Gardner -- a "midboiled" writer who's not as good as Rex Stout, but still good and oddly underrated nowadays.

--- William Denton <> wrote:
> THE LONG LAVENDER LOOK (1970) is the twelfth Travis
> McGee novel by John D.
> MacDonald. It's a good one, with McGee getting in
> trouble in a small
> Florida town. It's unusual because McGee isn't
> after salvage, but my
> memory isn't good enough to be sure it's the first
> like that.
> Chapter 1: McGee and Meyer are taking the scenic
> route home from a
> wedding. It's late at night and the road is dark.
> Suddenly, a naked
> woman runs in front of their truck. McGee brakes,
> misses the woman, but
> the truck fishtails and goes over the edge into a
> river. McGee is knocked
> unconscious, but Meyer rescues him. They start
> walking to town. A truck
> comes along and they are shot at. The bullets miss,
> and they hide until
> it's safe. Chapter 2: They're arrested for murder.
> It starts off fast, as you can see. Soon they're
> freed from jail and
> Meyer goes home. McGee sticks around, partly to
> beat up a policeman who
> worked Meyer over, but also because people are dying
> and there's a lot of
> money somewhere. The plot gets a little confused
> towards the end, when
> they're figuring out the details of a robbery and
> talking about people who
> are never seen, but it all comes to a nice
> conclusion.
> It's similar to other McGee books where he's in a
> small Florida town,
> shakes things up, finds out secrets, sleeps with a
> local woman or two,
> gets in trouble with the cops, etc. (These are the
> kinds of books that
> make tourists stay on the main highway.) A couple
> of scenes seemed very
> reminiscent of earlier McGees. There are only a few
> pages of
> philosophizing, and there's strangely little
> desciption of the town. The
> outlying countryside gets more.
> McGee only sleeps with one woman (39-22-32), but a
> couple of others would
> like to. One is a weird one, a super-strong young
> sadist who turns McGee
> on by lifting a car off the ground. Later, he
> punches her in the face.
> Bill

===== Doug Bassett

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