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When Mike Rodenska, a former journalist still grieving the loss of his wife, pays his old war buddy Troy Jamison a long overdue visit in Florida, he’s shocked at what he finds. Behind the indulgent exterior of Troy’s lush beach life - the parties, the year-round suntans, the shapely women, the infectious devil-may-care attitude of Troy and his friends - Mike senses inevitable disaster. Troy surrendered his life to drink once before. But now his second marriage is failing, his career is in shambles, his stepdaughter is making passes at him, and he seems to be losing his mind. The only question is: Why? His old friend’s downfall is one story that Mike feels compelled to investigate - for Troy’s sake, and for his own.
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By Me & My Girls on 01-23-15
Mike Rodenska's wife has died and his old friend Troy Jamison has invited him to come down to Florida to visit him and his new wife. It doesn't take long for our hero to realize that he's there to once again rescue his old friend from himself. It seems that Troy's success as a small builder has gone to his head; he's now in over his own head; and he's about to lose not only all he's made but the money provided by his new wife. Fortunately his old friend Mike is there again.
I'll stop the synopsis right there so as to not spoil the ending for anyone. This is one of my favorite of MacDonald's pre McGee novels; once again MacDonald finds the core of various psyche's in a way that makes them come alive. One jarring note is the cavalier manner that the main character treats his sons in the aftermath of their mother's death. Perhaps it was de riguer in days of yore for father's to make only a very minor role in parenting but Rodenska's reaction feels very cold.
This is nonetheless a great listen; hell the worst of MacDonald's works are very good; this one is better.
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