Wow, if I’d known this first edition paperback was so valuable, perhaps I would not have cracked the spine. Internet prices for it range between $30 and $200. Who am I kidding? This is a John D. MacDonald book. My first of the year, I might add.
A small town cop picks his brother-in-law up at prison, where he’s served a five year sentence for manslaughter. The brother-in-law, like the wife, comes from the hill country, so he’s tough, but he’s also mean unlike the wife of the cop. It puts the cop in a bind, because the wife hopes the brother will reform and the cop knows he won’t and that he’s planning something. Something that starts with a prisonbreak.
As always, it’s a quick, engaging read from MacDonald. The characters are complex and the moral and philosophical questions require the characters to wrestle with their lives and their identities. I thought the end was a bit abrupt, though, and simplistic, but it does give the novel a compelling title.