A Deadly Welcome:
John D. MacDonald was one of those prolific novel writers, who seemed to publish at least one or two novels a year. They’re often graced with a Robert McGinnis cover featuring buxom broads and dashing young men in tight slacks. I’m not sure if this one is by McGinnis or one of the many cover artists who were influenced by him, but it’s a pity that someone at Pan Books decided to crop most of the original painting out of this particular cover design. I suppose it does make it uniform with the rest of this reprint series, and it’s a striking cover design nonetheless.
Deadly Welcome is an entertaining read set in MacDonald’s adopted home of Florida, a place he seemed to simultaneously love and hate, at least if the voice of his protagonist(s) is anything to go by. The main protagonist in this book, Alex Doyle, returns home to a small town he swore never to go back to, and finds himself embroiled in a hunt for a murderer and some hidden money. There’s a bad cop, a capable woman with a secret, a lot of small town attitudes and a whole lot of subtext about abuse. A Deadly Welcome, indeed.
“He went over the edge six months ago. And this whole town is to blame. You lawful people didn’t care if he whipped heads just so long as he whipped the heads on people who had no way of fighting back. You were even kind of sneaky proud of him. Toughest deputy on the west coast of Florida. And you thought that Old West outfit of his was amusing. You folks grew yourself a paranoid. Nobody has told me, but I can tell you just how he lives. He has a small place somewhere. With a lot of privacy. And he keeps it as bare and neat as a monk’s cell. He’ll have a gun rack and he’ll keep those guns in perfect shape. He’ll scrub the floor on his hands and knees. After he makes the bed, you can bounce a coin on it. No books, no television, no hobby except the guns and hunting. When he wants a woman he’ll go after one that’s drab and humble and scared, and it will be as close to rape as the law allows.”
Filed under: American, Crime, Thriller Tagged: Deadly Welcome, John D MacDonald, Pan Books, Robert McGinnis