John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series is one of the best! Ever since the author introduced us to Travis back in 1964 in “The Deep Blue Good-by,” this “knight in tarnished armor” (according to Time magazine) has cultivated a massive following in the 21 novels in which he stars. (Each of the McGee books is characterized by a color in the title.)
In “Empty Copper Sea,” Hub Lawless is reported drowned in a boating accident and his $2 million insurance policy raises some eyebrows, not to mention questions.
Travis's good friend Van Harder is held responsible for the death and much circumstantial --and suspicious--evidence points to his guilt. Thus, Travis becomes fully involved, more out of friendship than anything else. He cannot believe his friend is guilty.
In this episode, Travis once again resorts to his alter ego and good friend, renowned economist Meyer, and together, aboard McGee's “Busted Flush” houseboat (normally
berthed in Ft. Lauderdale), MacDonald steers us carefully to a powerful climax of perhaps the best of the McGee books. MacDonald is a master in crafting his plot, his characters, his compelling storyline, and it is no wonder that his fans look at McGee as if he is actually a family member! It has been said that this book is a mixture of “gentle sex and bloody violence” but always in moderation. The author does not have to resort to cheap literary tricks to captivate his readers. This is a series, unfortunately ending with MacDonald's death, that should not be missed.
This report prepared by Bill Hobbs