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Epub John D. MacDonald ´ The Empty Copper Sea Travis McGee 17 PDF/EPUB ☆ ´

The professional's professional of suspense writersTHE NEW YORK TIMESVan Harder once a hard drinker has found religion But that doesn't keep folks from saying he murdered his employer Hub Lawless whose body hasn't been found To clear his name and cear up the mystery Van asks friend in need Travis McGee to find out what really happened What McGee finds is that Timber Bay is a toug h town to get a break in when you're a stranger asking questions But what he also finds is that dead or alive Hub Lawless is worth a lot of money Some are eager to get a piece of that action and some are willing to take than a piece out of anyone who gets in the way


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    “I turned my head and saw beyond the shoulder of my beloved the empty copper sea hushed and waiting as if the world had paused between breaths Perhaps it was like this in the beginning and will be like this again after man has slain every living thing Sand heat and water And death”Reading The Empty Copper Sea on the heels of the two previous entries The Turquoise Lament and The Dreadful Lemon Sky it is easy to see how all three are tied together by the restless introspection of Travis McGee some might call a mid life crisis The New York Times was already calling Travis McGee a mythic figure and The Boston Globe had called MacDonald one of the most entertaining and probing writers in America This was no small praise considering MacDonald was writing in the mysterymale adventure genre But as the Washington Post Book World noted all those years ago“MacDonald is not to be taken lightlywithout any pretensions he has serious things to say and he says them uncommonly well”Vonnegut wasn’t kidding when he referred to MacDonald’s writings as treasures on a par with Tutankhamen He captured a time and place but he also captured the human condition the mingling between the sexes and societal decay with an honest and unpretentious eye Yes in many ways the Travis McGee series was true to its origins and it was the male fantasy version But there was also great insight which MacDonald brought to bear on both society and the human condition McGee feels real because he is an amalgam of men like him and the women and girls who ran the spectrum from free loving beach bunnies to strong and independent women and everything in between felt real because they were girls and women the reader had known The Empty Copper Sea as much as any book in the series shows MacDonald to be a serious novelist despite his pulp backgroundOn a May morning as McGee is doing some much needed maintenance on the Busted Flush Van Harder comes aboard to ask for McGee’s help A born again Christian who has left the bottle behind MacDonald doesn’t take a swipe at that as many of today’s writers would It is simply part of the story It’s been almost a year since the incident where a man named Hub Lawless was lost at sea supposedly because Van Harder got drunk helming the Julie Harder has lost his license and his dignity Even the money he offers McGee will have to be paid out over time as he tries to salvage his reputation“Everything he had was wrapped up in that request his pride his dignity his seafaring career his worth as a man And I sensed that this was the very last thing he’d been able to think of Travis McGee the last chance he had”So McGee and Meyer head to Timber Bay posing as potential buyers of Hub Lawless’s holdings They are of course trying to figure out just what happened that night Van Harder took out Hub Lawless and his right hand John Tuckerman with two young women aboard There is almost a sense of fun initially to this one with McGee and Meyer arriving in Timber Bay to con people and poke around Empty Copper Sea has a much different atmosphere than Dreadful Lemon Sky despite the conMcGee is still at loose ends personally however without realizing what’s wrong with him One of the great sidekicks in this genre Meyer does know and isn’t reticent to tell his old friend that he’s almost become a bore with his melancholy“You have felt that horrid rotten exhalation Travis that breath from the grave that terminal sigh You’ve been singing laments for yourself Laments regrets remorses”Meyer goes even further“And you are walled in an emotional sense There is no genuine give and take There is no real involvement lately You are going through the motions As with the piano player As with Nick Noyes You are vaguely predatory lately And irritable And listless You are getting no emotional feedback”This is all a carryover from a larger story line which began with The Turquoise Lament and continued to a lesser degree in The Dreadful Lemon Sky It is much easier to see when reading this one after Lament and Lemon Sky that McGee’s wallowing in missed opportunities and regrets is sort of a soft underscore to these three mysteryadventuresSheriff Hack Ames who literally kicked Van Harder when he was down has photographic evidence that Hub Lawless is actually alive and somewhere in Mexico with a boatload of money — the amount keeps growing until it’s close to a million McGee discovers that bad investments and the very sexy architect named Kristin Peterson may have led Lawless to set up Van Harder“He was the innocent bystander who’d been run down by somebody else’s fun machine and all I had to do was repair his reputation somehow And stop moaning about myself”As McGee and Meyer poke around while waiting for the Sheriff’s man and the insurance investigator who went with him to Mexico to return McGee gets entangled with cute lounge piano player Billy Jean Bailey than he’d intended The brief coupling which came about by nature and McGee’s desire not to damage her pride will eventually bring about tragedy for someone and a moment of violence which almost touches MeyerThe two young women who were aboard the boat Felicia Amber and Michelle Burns are wonderfully drawn by MacDonald giving the reader a vivid picture of the girls one Honduran girl who speaks with an accent but thinks she doesn’t and another who has the looks and personality of Doris Day but is what is commonly known among men as a semi proThere is going on in Timber Bay than trying to figure out whether Hub Lawless is alive or not however While McGee ingratiates himself into the fabric of Timber Bay we get the sharp and insightful social commentary for which MacDonald is know Some of it as is so often the case involves Florida“Florida can never really come to grips with saving the environment because a very large percentage of the population at any given time just got here So why should they fight to turn the clock back? It looks great the way it is Two years later as they are beginning to feel uneasy a few thousand people are just discovering it for the first time and wouldn’t change a thing And meanwhile the people who knew what it was like twenty years ago are an ever dwindling minority a voice too faint to be heard”MacDonald also expounds on the biker culture“They are fading into history like Pancho Villa’s irregulars All the macho whiskers and the leather clothes and the dead eyes and their feral abused little women”When McGee goes out to speak with the man Hub Lawless left behind John Tuckerman this very good story turns into something as the emotional feedback Meyer spoke about to McGee stares him in the face It turns out she’s the sister of John Tuckerman caring for a brother who has drunk himself into mental simplicity McGee’s reaction to Gretel is visceral and any man who’s ever had that reaction to a woman will appreciate the eloquence of MacDonald’s description“When she looked away I had a very strange feeling I felt as if I had shucked some kind of drab outer skin It was old and brittle and as I stretched and moved it shattered and fell off I could breathe deeply The Gulf was a sharper blue There was wine in the air I saw every grain of sand every fragment of seashell every movement of the beach grasses in the May breeze It was an awakening I was full of juices and thirsts energies and hungers and I wanted to laugh for no reason at all”Gretel snaps McGee out of his crisis and being as Meyer notes a child of his times he’ll have none of this nonsense about demeaning the feminine sex by using the term girl rather than woman“Meyer would it offend your sense of fitness if I called Gretel a girl?” — McGee“Instead of person or a woman or some such? You want to be patronizing and chauvinistic eh? Look down upon her?” — Meyer perhaps facetiously“Cut it out Meyer I can go with all that approach right up to a point When it doesn’t mean much one way or another You know But here we have one of the truly great all time record breaking incomparable girls And I want to call her a girl” — McGeeThough it takes some time to get there there is a terrific ending to this one I suspect some readers won’t see coming It’s violent and exciting and unexpected It begins with a pair of binoculars and leads to a moment of terror for McGee a moment in which he finally after all these years grows upIt’s all tied up neatly with only the relationship between Gretel and McGee left up in the air McGee loves her but is Gretel ready? It is hardly as simplistic as her not wanting to be McGee’s solution because she is than that and knows it Perhaps it’s because I know about The Green Ripper that I don’t feel Gretel’s reaction rings quite as genuine as Cindy Birdsong’s did in The Dreadful Lemon Sky Both relationships have a rich mature feel to the malefemale dynamic but Cindy’s reasons in Lemon Sky feel grounded and resonated with me than Gretel’sOverall a truly stellar entry in this great series It’s probably a 45 for me as Lemon Sky was so I’ll round up as I did there MacDonald captured the mood and spirit of his times and his location better than anyone while still giving readers a thrilling and involving tale The Empty Copper Sea is funny insightful suspenseful and resonating A great writer at his very peak