In his second outing, Travis McGee, John D. McDonald’s beach bum/salvage consultant who take 50% of whatever he recovers for his clients, has left his Florida home base for the asphalt jungle of New York City.
He has come to NYC to help the delectable sister of an old army buddy whose boyfriend was murdered on the city streets in what the police ruled an apparent mugging. While investigating the death, and a bit of romance, we learn the murdered boyfriend was into some shady dealings involving millions of dollars. While investigating, Travis finds himself drugged, hallucinating and in a horror house masquerading as a mental institution.
When reading, one has to remember this is 1964, because Travis is the kind of guy who has problems with women working. However, that does not stop our hero from bedding our lady friend before and after she discovers her now dead boyfriend was not who he said he was. Hey, someone had to help her recuperate from her melancholy.
While, admittedly I did not care for this book as much as the first book in the series (The Deep Blue Goody-by), and if you can excuse the 60’s sexism, McDonald, still fine tuning his long time anti-hero, has crafted a strange, off-beat ending that you won’t see coming.