Sunday, April 11, 2010


Barrier Island
Author: John D. MacDonald
Publisher: Fawcett Books
Copyright: 1986
ISBN: 0-449-13179-3
259 pages

Unfortunately, readers won't find this book in most on-line or regular bookstores. The novel is out of print. And, unlike the recent reissue of the Travis McGee series, much of MacDonald's canon will remain in the hands of used book retailers. But this novel by a master of the crime novel, is one of many that brought MacDonald considerable notice and accolades for his unremitting efforts to protect the fragile coastal regions of Florida and the Gulf Coast, in addition to the recognition of his gifts as a writer. Readers of the excellent Emma Lathen series of chicanery in high financial circles, will find Barrier Island to their liking. This is clearly a work whose themes are of considerable interest and even passion to the author.

This novel could have been written yesterday, testament to the genius and skill of the author. I found nothing which was not germane and up to date. MacDonald's characters are interesting, well-developed and consistent. The book probes conflicting situations between partners in a real estate firm, and follows the conflicting desires of the partners in the ways they define a successful business.

Greed, avarice, ecological concerns and healthy community growth are all considered in this action-filled novel. There are surprises and misdirections, all couched in MacDonald's excellent prose. An excellent, thoughtful, novel.

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