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One Fearful Yellow Eye by John D. MacDonald Review

Title: One Fearful Yellow Eye

Author: John D. MacDonald

First published January 1, 1966

Audio Cassette

ISBN: 9780394559797 (ISBN10: 0394559797)

Rating: 4.1


Travis McGee is back and this time he’s on a mission to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of a young heiress. When the family of the missing girl reaches out to him, McGee sets out to uncover the truth behind her disappearance.

But as he delves deeper into the case, he realizes that there are some secrets that are best left buried. With danger lurking around every corner, McGee must use all his skills to uncover the truth before it’s too late.

One Fearful Yellow Eye is a thrilling ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

About the Author

John D. MacDonald had a fascinating life.

He was born in Sharon, Pennsylvania and received his education from the Universities of Pennsylvania, Syracuse, and Harvard. In 1939, he earned an MBA from Harvard.

During World War II, he served in the Army and rose to the rank of Colonel. While he was serving in the Far East, he sent a short story to his wife that she successfully sold.

He served in the Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.) in the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations. After the war, he decided to try writing for a year to see if he could make a living.

He went on to write over 500 short stories and 70 novels, including 21 Travis McGee novels.

Unfortunately, MacDonald developed complications from a heart bypass operation and slipped into a coma on December 10th. He died on December 28th, 1986, at the age of 70, in St. Mary’s Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

He left behind his wife Dorothy (1911-1989) and a son, Maynard.

Even though MacDonald has been gone for over three decades, his work has not been forgotten. He has been praised by authors such as Stephen King, Spider Robinson, Jimmy Buffett, Kingsley Amis, and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. His Travis McGee novels are still in print, which is a testament to his greatness.

Editoral Review

John D. MacDonald’s One Fearful Yellow Eye is a gripping mystery novel that was first published on January 1, 1966.

The author is well-known in the world of crime fiction, having written over 70 novels, including the famous Travis McGee series. MacDonald’s writing style is crisp, fast-paced, and laced with dark humor, making it popular among readers who love to read about gritty crime stories with tough-talking characters.

One Fearful Yellow Eye revolves around the disappearance of a wealthy heiress, who becomes the victim of a cunning extortionist. The story is set in the fictional town of Bahia Mar in Florida, which serves as the perfect backdrop for a story filled with intrigue, danger, and deceit.

The narrative is told from the point of view of Travis McGee, a rugged and resourceful private investigator who is hired by the family of the missing heiress to track down the culprit. The novel’s most significant strength is its well-defined characters.

The author creates a cast of memorable personalities, ranging from the witty and sharp-tongued McGee to the vulnerable and desperate heiress. The interactions between the characters are engaging, and MacDonald does a superb job of portraying their motivations and desires.

Additionally, MacDonald’s vivid descriptions of the setting are top-notch and transport the reader to the sun-bleached beaches of Florida. One Fearful Yellow Eye benefits from a tightly-woven plot that keeps the reader guessing until the very end.

The twists and turns in the story are expertly executed, and the pacing is frenetic, making the book a page-turner. However, the book’s one limitation is its dated portrayal of women.

Some readers may find the female characters to be stereotypical and one-dimensional, which detracts from the overall quality of the book. Despite this, One Fearful Yellow Eye is an engaging read that holds up well to this day.

Its themes of greed and corruption are still relevant today, and the book’s depiction of Florida’s social landscape at the time is fascinating. Fans of classic crime fiction will find this book to be a must-read.

Overall, One Fearful Yellow Eye is an excellent novel that deserves a wide readership. Its compelling characters, intricate plot, and skillful storytelling make it a standout in its genre.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery, and I give it a rating of 4.5/5.