John D. MacDonald
A fast-moving plot occasionally interspersed with introspection, a tough protagonist, a set of colorful characters, and a somewhat unlikely plot combine to produce an entertaining novel.
Reviewed by David on November 15, 2003
Genre: Mystery (Amateur Sleuth)
Synopsis: This is an unabridged recording of The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper. Despite his laid-back style and lack of ambition, Travis McGee is a pretty tough guy that provides help with tough problems. After receiving a letter from a dying friend, Travis comes to a small Florida town to help her suicidal daughter. Travis expertise lies in dealing with criminals, not psychologically disturbed. Alas, after a few days, he finds that his talents are indeed needed in the strange situation.
Full Review: A laid-back but tough hero makes for a good protagonist. Despite the best traditions of the hard-boiled and philosophical detective, Travis's introspection sometimes becomes intrusive.
A colorful set of characters and a convoluted plot is easily sustained by fast pace and drama.
Somewhat stylized police investigation and a couple of flaws do not detract from the pace and snappy dialogue, and the occasionally grim elements provide a good contrast to the adventure-style narrative.
Overall: 5.5; Plot: 5; Characters: 5.5; Style: 6; World-building: 5; Originality: 5.5;
Copyright date 1968, Books on Tape, 1984, Audio cassette, 7 cassettesOrder from: Books on Tape