Murder for the Bride Mass Market Paperback – Mar 12 1986
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
And the plot twists sure do keep coming at a lightning pace throughout this story, right from the opening pages. Our protagonist, Dillon Bryant, is a successful engineer off on assignment after just finishing his honeymoon. News from home comes that his new bride, Laura, a beautiful women whom he had only met weeks before proposing marriage, is in deep trouble. He rushes home to find out that she has, in fact, been murdered. Filled with grief and rage, he feels he cannot leave it up to the police to solve the case - he wants his own kind of revenge against the killer.
To reveal more at this point would be to give away too much of the plot. Suffice to say it involves everything from the seamy side of New Orleans, to the Red Scare, to former Nazis on the lam, and a spunky newspaper reporter who we know from fairly early on is the one Dillion *should* be married to - but it may take a very long time for either of them to figure that out, if they both manage to survive.
MacDonald shows his craft in the swift pacing of the story, the way he easily describes action, scenes and characters with brevity and well-chosen details. He brings his world to life for readers and draws you into his characters' plights and dramas quickly, keeping you turning the pages to find out what will happen to them next. While I wouldn't rate this as one of MacDonald's best works by far, it is certainly worth reading if you are a fan of his writing, or looking for a good story quite typical of the time period in which it was written.
This book is one of MacDonald's paperback novels from the early 1950s and it contains many of the elements that made him such an outstanding writer. The plot has lots of twists and turns, the characters are interesting and varied and the setting (New Orleans) is vivid and important to the story. The plot centers on an oil contractor who marries a woman he barely knows. When his bride is murdered while he's on business in Mexico, he comes back to New Orleans, vowing to find the killer.
What he finds is a complex conspiracy involving the Communist Party, more murders and a mysterious McGuffin that drives the plot to an exciting conclusion. MacDonald avoids the political commentary that dominated the era in which the book was written and instead focuses on action and suspense. Although the novel was written over half a century ago, it holds up remarkably well and serves as both an example of a historical document and an exciting piece of escapist fiction. No wonder those old paperback originals sold so well back in the fifties.