Some sentences, Dec. 26 – Recommendation a great present

Dec. 26, 2016 – Survived the holidays, despite a most unfortunate Hannukah/Christmas Eve story about white supremacists behaving badly in Montana, underscoring the reality that, in newsrooms, nothing good ever happens on the holidays.

But I also got a great present, made better still by the fact that the giver has no idea of his role. The best present, of course, is the ongoing gift of family and friends, good health, relative financial security, a job I love, and the unbelievable privilege of being a published novelist.

This gift was a pretty close second, though. I’m always seeking recommendations for good reads. Recently, via the magic of Twitter, I reconnected with an old Philadelphia Inquirer colleague, Larry Copeland, also turned novelist. (His debut novel, The Moaning Bench, will be released next month.) I scanned his blog and found this post about the works of John D. MacDonald, among others.

macdonaldI came late to crime fiction, and so there are huge gaps in my knowledge, MacDonald’s work among them. I spend a lot of time these days playing catch-up. Larry’s post led me to The Deep Blue Good-by, the first in MacDonald’s Travis McGee series. I peeked into it at about 11 one night, intending to scan a couple of pages before bedtime. Hours later, MacDonald had hooked me with sentences like this:

“I heard the lisping flap of water against the hull, the soft mutter of the traffic on the smooth asphalt that divides the big marina from the public beach, bits of music blending into nonsense, boat laughter, the slurred harmony of alcohol, and a mosquito song vectoring in on my neck.”

That vectoring – that’s all it took. So, thanks, Larry. Hope to return the favor, or at least pass it along.

 

 

 

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