From: Mark D. Nevins ( nevins_mark@yahoo.com)
Date: 16 Jun 2007

Nathan Cain:
> I just returned from my local used book store
> where someone had dumped
> off a huge number of John D. MacDonald
> paperbacks, most of them non- McGee novels.
> There were even a couple of Sci-fi ones.
> I picked up six books, including some I had
> never heard of before, including April Evil,
> The Crossroads and The Last One Left (which the
> author dedicated to Travis McGee). Anyone
> on the list read any of these? Are they any good?

Since I'm still a crime novel novice, I tend mostly to lurk (and listen and learn) on this List, but here's a rare post I can respond to . . .

I recently read APRIL EVIL and really liked it. It's a competent thriller that, interestingly, feels to me like it has almost the exact same structure as an Elmore Leonard book: various groups of characters, "good" and "bad," are circling around an old man with a safe full of money is a sleepy Florida town. I wonder if Leonard was indeed influenced by this novel or by MacDonald generally--I'm sure he read his fair share of Dell shorties and Gold Medals.

However, unlike Leonard, this book is flavored with MacDonald's particular interests in fate, psychology, and morality--and, of course, fans of Leonard's super-stripped-down style will likely find this one at times "over-written" and too indulgent in interior monologue.

I myself really liked it, and if there are other JDM fans on this list, I'd like to hear specific title recommendations on his non-McGee books. I'm also reading (slowly) the McGees in order of publication, and enjoying them.

I once saw (I think) a monograph on JDM--since then I've not been able to remember the title or track it down. Does anyone have any pointers?

Best, Mark Nevins

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