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A Tan and Sandy Silence (Travis McGee #13)
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A Tan and Sandy Silence

(Travis McGee #13)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  2,631 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Being accused at gunpoint of hiding another man's wife is a rude shock. But it's an even bigger shock when Travis McGee discovers that the woman in question is Mary Broll, a dear old friend. Now she's disappeared, vanished without a word to anyone.
Paperback, 308 pages
Published March 9th 1996 by Fawcett Books (first published January 1st 1971)
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Joe Valdez
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
Spring is finally here and it's time to work on my tan. John D. MacDonald published twenty-one Travis McGee mysteries (between 1964 and 1984) narrated by his weary "salvage consultant" who often agrees to locate missing persons or items, 52-foot houseboat the Busted Flush docked in Fort Lauderdale serving as McGee's office. MacDonald was one of the earliest authors to use themed titles for their series and his brilliant use of color not only offered a visual motif to help readers distinguish eac ...more
James Thane
Had I rated this book when I first read it twenty-five or thirty years ago, I no doubt would have given it a solid four stars plus. I loved this series when I first discovered it and couldn't devour the books fast enough. But the times have changed, and so have I, no doubt, and these novels no longer appeal to me nearly as much as they once did.

The story at the core of the book is fine. As it opens, Travis McGee is in something of an emotional slump and fears that he may be losing a step or two
When rereading one of these Travis McGee novel, I have to weigh the parts I like against the terrible sexism inherent to the books. Usually this balances out fairly evenly, but this time the old Sea Cock* dropped the equivalent of a cartoon anvil on the wrong side of the scales.

*(Sea Cock McGee is the fabulous nickname Amanda coined in her great review of Darker Than Amber.)

This one had a lot of promise starting out. McGee is having a personal crisis after a misjudgment nearly gets him killed, a
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, american, crime, fiction
"We're all children. We invent the adult facade and don it and try to keep the buttons and the medals polished. We're all trying to give such a good imitation of being an adult that the real adults in the world won't catch on." - John D. MacDonald, A Tan and Sandy Silence


John D. MacDonald's pulp novels are a perfect beach read. They are unassuming, consistently over-deliver, produce better one-liners than a George Carlin set AND seem to have captured perfectly a very American, libertarian ethos
Well this one wasn't as impressive. It's actually a rather ugly and sordid story thanks to the middle part when McGee tracks down a suspect hiding out on the island nation of Grenada. Though it did have some good points.

It's my third Travis McGee novel and it's definitely a product of it's time - late sixties/early seventies. As has been pointed out by another reviewer this novel smacks of the Macho Man mentality that was very popular at the time.I have encountered a few men who are big believe
Victoria Mixon
Oct 14, 2010 rated it it was ok
Huh. I guess MacDonald was getting pretty sick of Travis McGee.

As much as I like MacDonald's careful plotting and meticulous writing, I'm not recommending this one. It smacks far too much of the hysterical shock-value bullshit of 1970s he-man culture.

How does MacDonald fail to see the parallel between his psycho serial killer torturing victims to get information out of them and McGee spending a lackadaisical afternoon repeatedly choking a young woman to the point of black-out to get information
Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
The 13th in the Travis McGee series is a solid entry into the canon, with yet another "salvage" case for problem-solver McGee(this one's not money) and a memorable sociopathic baddie Ian Fleming would have loved. I'd rate this an above-average McGee, with a few new twists: travels around Caribbean islands; lots of Meyer; and Trav struggling with his life philosophy in the face of a novel proposition for "retirement." Someone once noted that the book titles always allude to the way the lead femal ...more
Tom Vater
May 15, 2012 rated it really liked it

I’ve had a sad and happy week. I just finished reading John D. MacDonald‘s A Tan And Sandy Silence, one of the celebrated crime writer’s 21 stories featuring charismatic, extremely likeable boat bum, amateur philosop
Henri Moreaux
I found myself feeling a little disappointed in the direction the character took in this book. Initially it seemed good, a bit of personal reflection, questioning of self motivation and life direction then a little later in the novel Travis is repeatedly choking a woman to get information out of her.
It sort of takes the evilness away from the character whose torturing and killing people too when the main good character is happy to choke people for information and threaten them.

Just found this o
Jan 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, owned
Not the best entry in the McGee series imo... Less humor & more gritty than those I like better.
Text Addict
Ay ay ay, some serious nightmare fodder in this one.
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thrillers
A TAN AND SANDY SILENCE. (1971). John D. MacDonald. ****.
It’s all about money, and money is usually attached to a land deal of one kind or another in south Florida. McGee runs into a syndicate that is going public with their stock in an attempt to raise enough capital to launch a huge construction project. One of the fringe investors in the company has a big piece of the action as stock options. He needs to come up with a large hunk of change - $300,000 – to buy up the other shares he needs to m
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
John MacDonald's Travis McGee is not a good man. He is certainly not a man you would want your son to emulate. But, like Joab in the story of David, he is loyal to his friends and sometimes necessary in difficult times. MacDonald put a different color in each title so the reader could remember if he had read the story before. The stories are formulaic: McGee is lounging around his houseboat when a friend or a friend of a friend comes by needing help. McGee gets into the mix. There are dead bodie ...more
MisterLiberry Head
Travis McGee, our “tinhorn Gawain,” is changing. He hasn’t been a smoker (not even of manly pipes) for half-a-dozen books now, although no mention is ever made of Trav quitting. Since THE DEEP BLUE GOOD-BY, our hero has been shot several times, cut with a knife and punched silly by an ex-prizefighter. The first queasy stirrings of doubts about his instincts and reflexes that began in THE LONG LAVENDER LOOK have grown to alarm bells. The Lauderdale boat-bum who steals from thieves, often at the r ...more
JoAnna Spring
May 19, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: travis-mcgee, fiction
It's probably not John MacDonald's fault I didn't finish this book. I tried to read it in little pieces and kept losing the story.

One of Trav's friends is missing and he goes to Mexico to check it out. Lots of money shenanigans and real estate blah blah.

As I have come to expect, however, I love McGee a little more with each book:

"The sun bleaches my hair and burns it and dries it out. And the salt water makes it feel stiff and look like some kind of Dynel [I have no idea what that is....:]. Wer
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, mystery, hardboiled
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 01, 2011 added it
Definitely not the best in John MacDonald's Travis McGee series. I was thrilled to see Meyer playing such a large role in the story - I'd missed him! - and was curious to read about Grenada, an island I have not been to yet - but the story as a whole dragged quite a bit, and I nearly fell asleep many nights right in the middle of a chapter, something I almost never do. And some of the language in the book was off-putting, but considering that the book was written nearly 40 years ago, I'm not sur ...more
Harv Griffin
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, reviewed

This is not one of my favorite Travis McGee novels, although it is competently constructed, and has some good moments. Any McGee will do if I’m bored, and there’s nothing else around to read. This puppy didn’t really grab me until about page 66; even then, I could pull free anytime I wanted. TAN is a serviceable Hunt-For-A-Girl story. Maybe I don’t much like TAN because Trav gets tied up and almost killed twice! @hg47
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
#13 in the Travis McGee series.

Travis McGee is visited and shot at by Harry Broll, a real estate developer who insists his missing wife would have fled to McGee. Something doesn't ring true and Travis and friend Meyer look for the missing Mary and encounter a web of high finance deception and murder stretching from Lauderdale to Grenada.
Terry Graap
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent book in the Travis McGee series by John D MacDonald. McGee investigates an ex lover's disappearance. He doesn't find her but another woman is impersonating her in Grenada. He unveils her murder and a financial scheme.
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oct 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Damn. I had forgotten how good this stuff was.
Jul 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
This is a memorable one, for sure. McGee comes very close to dying here.
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: macdonald
12 jun 15
#48 from macdonald for me and this is the 14th travis mcgee story. if you only read the travis mcgee stories you are missing out on some fine story-telling. i've read 34 non-travis-mcgee stories and they rock and roll. macdonald rocks the casbah. just finished Dress Her in Indigo onward and upward.

15 jun 15
finished. good story! worth a read. the bad guy in this one gives me the heebie-jeebies, more so when one realizes there are people...too that in the world. they walk amo
Lindsay Boitnott
I am the type of person who takes a book with me everywhere; going grocery shopping, going to work (lunch break!), and of course I have at least one when on vacation. So it was somewhat of a shock when I found myself staying at a friend’s beach condo without something to read. I’m an early riser and I like to spend a quiet morning with a nice cup of coffee and a good book. Thankfully, the best thing about beach condos is there is almost always a shelf of second hand books for guests to peruse. A ...more
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: detective, fun, mystery
Whenever you (speaking to the general masculine population out there) need a dose of straightforward, unabashed, and brazen manliness...just kick back with a episode of the uber-male Travis McGee. In this story, Trav is looking for a missing "friend" of old, and finds himself in the middle of a significant real estate deal involving murder and embezzlement. Along the way, he finds a wealthy assortment of beautiful, partially clad women who throw themselves at him, a French-Canadian psychopath (i ...more
Marilyn Upright
Aug 18, 2017 rated it liked it
This author was recomended to me by a friend from my writing class. I have never read John D. MacDonald before. The suspense of this book kept me going though I was not crazy about the character and how he treated some women. It was very dated though so maybe that had something to do with the times. Men/ Women relationships were different then. I liked the fact that when his friend Mary was missing, Travis went looking for her. Travis would be good to have on your side if you were in trouble. Th ...more
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Travis McGee is a very cerebral approach to detecting. This was a harder read than most detective books since there was no easy fix to the situation. Many well developed characters. Description was remarkable setting the scene for the action that follows. A ladies man but also down to earth.
Vicki Frost
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Amazing, graphic descriptions. His wordsmithing is amazing. The book is definitely not PC and you need to put your feminism aside. A rough and tumble old- school detective novel with amazing twists. Great read.
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
First time to read a John D MacDonald. Enjoyed the story and liked Travis McGee. Will look for another.
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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

Other books in the series

Travis McGee (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • The Deep Blue Good-By (Travis McGee, #1)
  • Nightmare in Pink (Travis McGee, #2)
  • A Purple Place for Dying (Travis McGee #3)
  • The Quick Red Fox (Travis McGee #4)
  • A Deadly Shade of Gold (Travis McGee #5)
  • Bright Orange for the Shroud (Travis McGee #6)
  • Darker Than Amber (Travis McGee #7)
  • One Fearful Yellow Eye (Travis McGee #8)
  • Pale Gray for Guilt (Travis McGee #9)
  • The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper (Travis McGee #10)