Wednesday 27 March 2013



From a beloved master of crime fiction, Nightmare in Pink is one of many classic novels featuring Travis McGee, the hard-boiled detective who lives on a houseboat.

Travis McGee’s permanent address is the Busted Flush, Slip F-18, Bahia Mar, Lauderdale, and there isn’t a hell of a lot that compels him to leave it. Except maybe a call from an old army buddy who needs a favor. If it wasn’t for him, McGee might not be alive. For that kind of friend, Travis McGee will travel almost anywhere, even New York City. Especially when there’s a damsel in distress.

The damsel in question is his old friend’s kid sister, whose fianc√© has just been murdered in what the authorities claim was a standard Manhattan mugging. But Nina knows better. Her soon-to-be husband had been digging around, finding scum and scandal at his real estate investment firm. And this scum will go to any lengths to make sure their secrets don’t get out.

Travis is determined to get to the bottom of things, but just as he’s closing in on the truth, he finds himself drugged and taken captive. If he’s being locked up in a mental institution with a steady stream of drugs siphoned into his body, how can Travis keep his promise to his old friend? More important, how can he get himself out alive?

I didn’t get too worked up over this second Travis McGee instalment in MacDonald’s long running series. It was enjoyable enough but when compared to last month’s The Deep Blue Goodbye just didn’t seem as strong or as interesting. For one thing the locale was different as McGee was off his home turf in Florida and playing away in New York, not that I have anything against books set there. Secondly, I’m a sucker for a well described action scene.....a brawl, a mugging, a shooting.......and there just wasn’t enough of that here to get the adrenaline pumping.

Overall enjoyable, but just closing it, I was left with a tinge of disappointment. Still I’ll be back with McGee in April for number 3 – A Purple Place For Dying

3 from 5

I acquired my copy by agreeing a swap for one of my finished books, on the excellent Readitswapit website.


  1. Col - I like the Travis McGee series very much. But I agree that some of them are more engaging than others. I liked The Deep Blue Goodbye very much, as well as The Empty Copper Sea. The Green Ripper wasn't (in my opinion) as strong as The Lonely Silver Rain. I think that's the way it is with a lot of series, really. Thanks for the fine review.

    1. Thanks again for stopping by, Margot. Its probably inevitable that there's a fluctuation in strength throughout a series, I just didn't expect the dip to come so quickly.
      Looking at his bibliography, the first 4 all seemed to come out in the same year, can an author dash them out that quick, which might explain variation in quality?

      Not to worry, I still liked it.