Book Review: A Key to the Suite by John D. MacDonald (1962)

I piad $1.95 for this book at Downtown Books in Milwaukee last month. As some of you will recall, I read Judge Me Not and On the Run in the last month. My affinity for John D. MacDonald and my respect for his talent and his range continue to grow.

A Key to the Suite represents less of a crime novel than a fictional anthropological study of a lifestyle in which a crime happens to occur–much like One More Sunday or Condominium, where a hurricane plays the part of the crime. MacDonald examines corporate politics and dirty dealings that happen as part of a convention in a Florida hotel. Floyd Hubbard, a hatchet man, has come to the convention to put together a confidential report on an executive about to get fired. However, the executive fires back with a scheme involving a prostitute whose affection will impugn Hubbard’s reputation and report.

The book’s fairly brutal and bleak in its resolution, but MacDonald really creates a sense of place. I can almost imagine the scene in the burgeoning Florida resort scene as a post World War II company man would have seen it.

I got to be more like this guy.

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