Sunday, October 23, 2005

Book Number 39

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April Evil (1955) by John D. MacDonald

This is a very classic pulp crime novel written by a master during the golden age.

It is a multi-threaded crime story centered around a wealthy miser living in a small coastal town. Estranged relatives and big city criminals are circling over the month of April to part him from his hoarded wealth. Finally, one day, the whole caper comes together in his vast mansion and explodes in a deadly confrontation.

JD MacDonald, like most of the best pulp writers, excels at sketching quick characterizations. Women often are pulling themselves up from their white trash roots or using their 'sluttish' wiles to forge their way. Gangsters are hard and everyone will do just about anything for the big score.

This is fun book and an easy read.

2 comments:

Olman Feelyus said...

John D. MacDonal is always fun to read. But I particularly love the non McGee ones that he wrote around the '60s. They can be so brutal. I've read April Evil, but I can't remember it. It'll find it's way back to me at some point in the future.

He does get a bit burdened by his portrayal of women (the Updike curse) who are sexually liberated (i.e. ruined sluts), but the bad guys are really bad. This is the guy who wrote Cape Fear, let us not forget.

Buzby said...

I agree that JDM books are a lot of fun to read and this one sounds like it would be as well.