Book Report: All These Condemned by John D. MacDonald (1954)

All These Condemned is very similar to A Man of Affairs; both deal with business affairs and backstabbing that go on in luxurious locations and someone ends up dead. In this case, it’s a wealthy cosmetic company diva who enjoys toying with and manipulating her friends and employees.

MacDonald did something a little different with this book, wherein each chapter comprises the action leading up to or following the murder as seen through the eyes of one of the people at the lake resort of Wilma Ferris. With no single voice and the recursive nature of the storytelling–as each person retells a portion of it–the book becomes a cipher, hard to get into and almost plodding in its slow build-up to the climax.

Still, it’s interesting to see MacDonald riffing with characters, timeline, and whatnot. But I don’t recommend the book highly.