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Dead Low Tide

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  217 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Dead Low Tide is an iconic early thriller from John D. MacDonald, the mastermind behind Cape Fear and the Travis McGee novels. On the coast of Florida, a working stiff is wrongfully accused of murdering his boss—and must outwit one of MacDonald’s signature villains to save his life.

A college graduate and amateur fisherman, Andy McClintock is stuck toiling in the office of
Mass Market Paperback
Published January 12th 1981 by Fawcett (first published January 1st 1953)
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Craig Pittman
Apr 18, 2016 Craig Pittman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this 1953 thriller by John D. MacDonald as part of my New Year's resolution to read as many of his non-Travis McGee books this year as I could. I was particularly looking forward to this one because I'd heard it had a tautly written plot and vivid description of '50s Florida. The second half of that is true. The first half? Well...

The book sets up a classic thriller situation -- hustling young employee is framed for his boss' murder. The hero, an avid and skilled angler and a bit of a rak
Matt Lenz
Jan 15, 2016 Matt Lenz rated it it was amazing
This John D. MacDonald book is one of those at the top the list of his non-Travis McGee novels. Published in 1953, I read a copy just published in 2014. It stands up well after 60-plus years. Although, there are enough older settings, dress, cars, attitudes and other clues, that you can't help but know it's the good old days. And best of all, we get a true glimpse of old Florida and its charms. One of the best things about this book is that it doesn't follow the traditional Mystery formula. You ...more
Kurt Reichenbaugh
May 29, 2010 Kurt Reichenbaugh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: noir
Terrific earlier novel from MacDonald. Pretty much all of MacDonald's pre-Travis McGee paperback originals from the 50's are worth a read, but if I had to recommend one to friends it would be this one. Also a good study piece for new writers learning the craft of story-telling.
Sep 12, 2015 wally rated it really liked it
Shelves: macdonald
9 sep 15
#56 from macdonald for me

story begins:
i worked pretty late on the estimate.

12 sep 15, finished.
my pace quickens. still, long day, a hour here, six and a half hours there, another half over yonder, set a spell, two hours there, set...another half there. i worked pretty late, too. great story. macdonald rocks the casbah. story.
ooga booga.

onward, upward.
Jun 29, 2015 Andrew rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
A non Travis McGee MacDonald... but still Florida. Fellow (McClintock) is mixed up in a kind of a trailer park kind of place with another big boned blonde girl that seems to get killed (but gets brought up later all well later). Features an especially amoral weirdo who cuts up the money he has blackmailed for into odd shapes. Rather banal happy ending... (marriage to the blonde!) ... that is not up to McGee standards.
Barbara Nutting
Nov 27, 2015 Barbara Nutting rated it liked it
A forerunner of Travis McGee - but I missed Meyer and the Busted Flush!!
Sam Reaves
Nov 07, 2013 Sam Reaves rated it liked it
Early John D. MacDonald, pre-Travis. A young go-getter working for a developer on Florida's Gulf coast fends off advances from the boss's wife; when the boss turns up dead he's the number one suspect. Classic noir premise, steamy Florida locale, multiple temptresses, all the familiar elements. MacDonald's style could be a bit fulsome and his depiction of women was pre-feminist (though his women are usually smart and independent); nonetheless his novels stand up well as shrewdly observed, tightly ...more
Aug 15, 2012 Ed rated it liked it
OK entry from John D. MacDonald at the start of his novel length writing career.

Thriller centers on a man working for a construction company whose boss commits suicide with a harpoon gun. The protagonist’s harpoon gun. And it doesn’t look like suicide after all. Circumstances and the individual plots of the individual people have hemmed him in as the suspect, though. But when the woman friend who the protagonist discovers too late he loves is found in a canal, the police have to turn him loose.
Pete W
Jun 20, 2010 Pete W rated it it was amazing
Nothing clears the air of a rotten reading experience like an established classic. JD MacDonald's timeless hard boiled detective novel is the perfect bedtime companion.
Sep 28, 2011 Genevieve rated it really liked it
Tight and compelling. The reason people get hooked on pulpy, suspenseful adventure novels. It's a quick read and a good one.
Three and a half stars rounded up.
Jul 27, 2010 Charles rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Good stuff.
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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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