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Twilight at Mac's Place

(Mac McCorkle #4)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  434 ratings  ·  29 reviews
In Twilight at Mac's Place, the quiet death of an aged spy triggers a desperate race to control his memoirs, which threaten to reveal Cold War secrets many would prefer stayed secrets. When the spy's estranged son receives the then dizzying sum of $100,000 for all rights to the work, he is properly dizzied. He is also smart enough to seek the help of veteran Cold Warriors ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 8th 2003 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 1990)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  434 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Mal Warwick
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ross Thomas was forty-one years old when his first novel was published in 1967. He had already lived an eventful life. Thomas served in the infantry in the Philippines in World War II and later worked as a reporter and a public relations specialist, and, most famously, as a political campaign strategist in the labor union movement, in races for Governor and the US Senate, and in Nigeria. His novels reflect the breadth of his varied work experiences, taking readers into the realms of crime, polit ...more
Nov 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved it, like I do all of the Ross Thomas Books. I thought I had read them all, but I missed this one. I am glad I found it. It is so much better to shop at the library than on line. Nice to hold a book instead of an iPad. Too bad the print is so small.
The characters are great and don't take themselves too seriously. A fun who done it.
Craig Pittman
There was a time, from about the 1970s to the end of the 1980s, when nifty, sophisticated little thrillers like this one showed up in bookstores on a regular basis from such writers as Richard Condon ("The Manchurian Candidate") and William Goldman ("No Way to Treat a Lady"). Reading this Ross Thomas novel reminded me of the pleasures of those by-gone days of books with an engaging plot, clever dialogue, a strong interest in sex, a cynical view of humanity and a twist of some sort.

In this novel,
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is very different from the first three in the series, which is quite reasonable given the massive gap in years between The Backup Men and Twilight at Mac's Place. Thomas seems more interested in new characters than he does in Mac and Padillo, who are very much supporting characters in this final episode of their story. That said, though, despite the changes in how the story is presented, Mac and Padillo remain wonderful, and their now 25+ year old relationship is as understated and lovely a ...more
Tom Stamper
Ross Thomas wrote the cold war Mac McCorkle trilogy in the early 1970s and then returned to it once more in 1990 with this last book. Mac and Padillo are secondary characters this time around and it feels like he includes them here more as an homage than a 4th book about them.

The story is a CIA operative that knows too much may have written his memoirs before his sudden death. That book is potentially lethal to politicians and what is now referred to as the deep state. The operative’s son is a
Meg Bortin
May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I have read every book Ross Thomas every wrote, including those he signed as Oliver Bleeck, and as far as I'm concerned he outshines even Hammett and Chandler. A master of the thriller with a political edge, he is smart, funny and extremely knowledgeable about the spy-versus-spy world of the Cold War era (the one we thought we left behind but that seems to be returning). Arm yourself with a dry martini and open 'Twilight at Mac's Place', which takes place in Washington D.C. And don't expect to g ...more
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
Thoroughly enjoyed it, but one star off for confusing / anticlimactic ending.
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of Mr. Thomas' final works, this book showcases his masterful ability to adapt to changing technological and social forces while still retaining core style elements. I was impressed (as always) with his excellent treatment of race in America, along with his ability to compellingly spin a whodunit all the way into the final chapter.

Twilight at Mac's Place is also an excellent reflection on aging, parenthood and identity, showcasing more overtly philosophical (and autobiographical) gestures fr
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ross Thomas was a very graceful writer. By that I mean his narrative is smooth and fluid; his characterizations are deftly drawn, swiftly cemented and wonderfully indirect; his dialogue is interesting and believable; his plots are quirky, satisfying and memorable; and his wit crowns every page and makes each one of the four novels I've read an absolute delight. I'll go out on a limb and state unequivocally: There was and is no better writer of intelligent thrillers than Ross Thomas. This last of ...more
Jude Lamare
Sep 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Card board characters; nothing to care about here.
Jun 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommended to Biff by: a columnist in the Buffalo News
A so-so mystery written in 1990 which involved events that happened to the principals primarily during the Vietnam War and Laos.
Mar 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
I think I'm done reading books from Little Libraries. ...more
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based on a universe of two books (I also read The Cold War Swap a few years ago), I like Ross Thomas' novels. Twilight at Mac's Place spins forward in an easy-to-read relaxed style, with witty dialogue, a plot that's just intricate enough, and a steady progression of intrigue. The characters are interesting people, and their actions seem to sit on the border between real life CIA dirty dealings and a send up of the whole Cold War experience; as a result, the story is both compelling and fun.

An a
Dave Wallace
Jul 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Solid; could have used more of McCorkle and Padillo but I know they are getting up there in age. Character driven story and I really enjoyed the descriptions of Washington DC to include the architectural comments and not just because I will never get to that exotic location. Furniture descriptions too. Thomas is also, in the vein of Sir Conan Doyle and Rex Stout, very good at keeping us fed by noting what our protagonists are eating and drinking. who doesn't like that? Possibly the only known ap ...more
May 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Not up to other Ross Thomas books, notable the Artie Wu-Quincy Durant group. It's the same general idea, though--a smart, tough protagonist conspires to make some money by bamboozling (not cheating exactly, just bamboozling) some anxious, gullible people who maybe aren't so nice. Along the way, he falls in with a beautiful girl, does some clever things, and turns out----well, you'll have to read it to find out. Good airplane reading. ...more
Oct 11, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Ross Thomas fans
Recommended to Chazzle by: other Ross Thomas books rocked
I decided to now add reviews for books that I don't finish, but read at least half of. This book, by a notable and skilled writer, repeatedly suggested the possible existence of a scandalous diary, which would be embarrassing to highly powerful persons. Over and over the author dangles this carrot of a possible diary. Over and over. And over. I said, "Enough of this're kicked off the island."

Still, the average rating for this book is high, so, don't take my word for it.
Oct 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of international intrigue, political-style thrillers, John Le Carre
I'll never figure out why Ross Thomas isn't held in as high regard as, say, John Le Carre. Maybe if his books were more bloated. Or maybe it's because he nimbly jumps from international intrigue to hard-boiled crime noir. To be honest, I don't remember a lot about this book, except that I enjoyed it. And I can say that for pretty much every Thomas book I've read. There have been few authors who have written so much and kept such an enviable track record of constant creativity. ...more
Michael P.
May 25, 2013 marked it as books-abandoned  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the first book by Ross Thomas that I read, but have liked each successive book less until the last two I have abandoned unfinished. I even abandoned this one after a body was found, a supposedly exciting moment. When a writer is this uninvolving, it is time to move on.
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the few whodunits truly worthy of five stars. Witty with diverse characters, serpentine plot. Kudos to the author for a constantly intriguing story, void of gratuitous sexual "filler." ...more
Ray Charbonneau
Feb 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
I'm a sucker for witty repartee.
Kevin Michael Dela Paz
A nice story about people having a fuss about an unseen memoir.
Apr 18, 2010 added it
This is high-grade Ross Thomas. It's a wee bit overly cutesy at times (as occasionally happens with Thomas), but definitely worthwhile for fans. ...more
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A command of the language that is second to none. Great story, great characters, fun read.
Jan 17, 2011 rated it liked it
A vintage cold war thriller. I read it while recovering from knee replacement surgery and probably didn't appreciate it as much as I would have when pain free. ...more
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
political intrigue---well constructed, good move-a-long, like his others...
Denise Mcmahon
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
dated but ok
Lisa Geyer
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I read by Ross Thomas. I was very surprised. I will find other books by him. It is always enjoyable to find a new writer.
rated it liked it
Jan 19, 2011
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Ross Thomas was an American writer of crime fiction. He is best known for his witty thrillers that expose the mechanisms of professional politics. He also wrote several novels under the pseudonym Oliver Bleeck about professional go-between Philip St. Ives.

Thomas served in the Philippines during World War II. He worked as a public relations specialist, reporter, union spokesman, and political strat

Other books in the series

Mac McCorkle (4 books)
  • The Cold War Swap (Mac McCorckle, #1)
  • Cast a Yellow Shadow (Mac McCorkle, #2)
  • The Backup Men (Mac McCorkle, #3)

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