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Near Forgotten Writers: John D MacDonald

There are two writers whose series I loved turned their locales into a living breathing character. One was the late Robert Parker his Boston was just as important of a character as Spenser, Hawk and Susan. The other author was the late John D MacDonald whose novels and especially Travis McGee series.

His novels were action packed and with McGee very introspective. McGee was written from the 60s to early 80s. A Korean War Vet though in latter novels changed to Vietnam who aged with the state. Part of the novels were social commentaries not just of changes in society but humanity’s impact on the ecology of the state. McGee always wanted to do what was right yet still profit.

He was a salvage man. If stuff was stolen he would recover them and receive half their value. One really good novel it was brutal at times was the Quick Red Fox about an actress whose private photos were stolen and those pictures compromised her and her career if they were released.


MacDonald’s single most popular novel was The Girl, The Gold Watch and Everything. It was made into a movie. I have not read it. He also wrote Executioners which was made into Cape Fear twice. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travis_Mc…

Unlike the Parker, Ludlum,.Clancy estate and hosts of others the MacDonald estate refused more McGee novels to be written.

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