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Barrier Island

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  332 ratings  ·  19 reviews
There are two kinds of men in Mississippi. They make natural enemies. And sometimes, but only if the balance between strength and weakness tips too far, unnatural allies.
Tucker Loomis is a hard and dangerous man with a ruthlessness all West Bay fears and respects, and an improbable amount of money. Wade Rowley is a common man who aspires to honor but gets caught up in the
Mass Market Paperback, Fawcett Gold Medal 13179-3, 259 pages
Published April 12th 1987 by Ballentine Books (first published 1986)
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MacDonald makes literature out of real estate swindle !

Despite being a rather well-read mystery/thriller buff, we're new to MacDonald, having somehow missed his Travis McGee character. We picked up "Island" on a whim, not understanding either that it is the author's last work prior to his death nor that it is not a series book, but rather a "slice of life" story about a real estate partner who smells a rat and decides to set a trap for it.

Ostensibly, the tale is about good ol' Mississippi boy T
Carl Brookins

Unfortunately, readers won't find this book in most on-line or regular bookstores. The novel is out of print. And, unlike the recent reissue of the Travis McGee series, much of MacDonald's canon will remain in the hands of used book retailers. But this novel by a master of the crime novel, is one of many that brought MacDonald considerable notice and accolades for his unremitting efforts to protect the fragile coastal regions of Florida and the Gulf Coast, in addition to the recognition of his g
John D. McDonald, a heckuva writer. Long ago, back in the '60s and '70s, I read all 21 of his Travis McGee novels. More than mysteries, really, at least for me.

This book, "Barrier Island," was written much later -- published in 1986. It is the story of a land swindle (the coney is the USA). Not a major book, but interesting characters and persuasive plot. In this one, the author is coasting on the back stretch, not exerting himself, but still manages to come in near the head of the pack.

A gent
Gerald Kinro
This one takes the reader inside the world of Mississippi real estate. Tuck Loomis, a powerful, dangerous, womanizing real estate tycoon has inside information and purchases a barrier island off the coast of Mississippi. The government plans to take the island back to build a conservation area, and Loomis wants compensation far beyond what it cost him to purchase the island in the first place. The one person with any semblance of ethics is Wade Rowley. Rowley watches as his own partner gets caug ...more
Mike Harper
Certainly a good example of the genre, i.e. tales of unscrupulous Florida real estate developers. It's a page-turner, and not as outdated as some older mystery books seem to be.
Greer Andjanetta
A so-so mystery novel about high-stakes land dealings in Mississipi. Mildly interesting and well-enough written but nothing especially noteworthy about the story.
This is a 'late in his life' book, JDM died in '88, I think.
It is a story of greed and real estate, something JDM used as a subject in a lot of his books and it includes a lot of steamy sex and betrayal.. so in other words... a typical JDM story? Not really.
I found this one hard to follow but that might have been just me with other things on my mind.. there are a lot of characters to keep track of here so if you read it,, stay on your toes.
Anyone who has never read JDM, I would recommend other
Good plot; my edition wasn't very well proofread-- lots of typos.
Barrier Island is a good mystery to get involved in reading. Tucker Loomis is a manipulative SOB who wants to build on Bernard Island, Mississippi, with his company. But there's people who doesn't want that to happen and would stop him to do it. Like Wade Rowley, a partner in Rowley/Gibbs, which takes care of business. Lies, deception, murder, corruption, forgeries. It all takes place in Mississippi. And when things doesn't go his way, you better watch out of Tucker Loomis. Nice scenery and intr ...more
While I enjoyed, MacDonalds, well trained storytelling, I couldn't really find the point of the book.
One character is trying to pull off a real estate scam, another one tries to get clean of that. There is a certain lack of confrontation. And even the body that finally shows up after 3/4 of the book is pretty much the wrong guy.
My classification of theis book as a thriller is stretching things quite a nit.
McDonald always provides dynamic insight into the never-ending destructive development of Florida. I loved Florida in the 1960s.... an additional 15 million people since then have destroyed almost all that was worth experiencing.
David Ward
Barrier Island by John D. MacDonald (Ballantine 1987)(Fiction - Thriller). This non-Travis McGee tale is set on the Mississippi and features two men on either side of a mighty swindle. My rating: 7/10, finished 1987.
Larry Webber
This is a slightly atypical McDonald book. The ending seemed particularly odd, and I wonder if someone else finished writing this one.
Fantastic. Reread MacDonald every ten years or so. He is the best at the genre - page turning and can't stop till I am done.
Pretty good story, interesting to look back at the problems of over development from 20+ years ago
Real estate scheme drama. Better than I was expecting late period MacDonald.
Eddie Novak
July 10, 2006
July 13, 2006
Partridge Public
MacDonald, John O
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John D. MacDonald was born in Sharon, Pa, and educated at the Universities of Pennsylvania, Syracuse and Harvard, where he took an MBA in 1939. During WW2, he rose to the rank of Colonel, and while serving in the Army and in the Far East, sent a short story to his wife for sale, successfully. After the war, he decided to try writing for a year, to see if he could make a living. Over 500 short stor ...more
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“Walk very lightly and carefully, Wade. Look behind every bush.” 0 likes
“Keep your head down, fella. Do your job. Sell the product, write the contracts, negotiate the loans, attend the closings, bank your share and fatten the Keogh accordingly.” 0 likes
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