Barrier Island

John D. MacDonald, Author Alfred A. Knopf $16.95 (229p) ISBN 978-0-394-55427-3
MacDonald's storytelling gifts are admirably displayed in his new novel, a mesmerizing narrative encapsulating questions on viable economics and snail-slow programs to protect natural resources. In West Bay, Mississippi, Tuck Loomis fraudulently acquires Barrier Island, planning to turn the ecologically important land and waters into a posh recreation area. Loomis is accepted by the good ol' boys, wheeler-dealers who prosper from local developments, but not by real-estate agent Wade Rowley. Suspicious of Loomis, Rowley breaks up with his gullible partner, Bern Gibbs, when they quarrel over the wily crook's plan to use their business as a front for his operation. Rowley learns that Loomis has bribed a representative of the U.S. Prosecutor's office to influence a hearing on Barrier Island. Acting too late, the federal government intends to acquire the island as a national park, which means paying a fortune to Loomis because of his fake title to the property. Lighting a long fuse, the perpetrator sets off a figurative bomb that destroys himself along with others to whom morality is merely a word. 150,000 first printing; Literary Guild featured alternate. (June 16)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1986
Release date: 05/01/1986
Hardcover - 274 pages - 978-0-8161-4263-7
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7451-6856-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-449-13179-4
Hardcover - 274 pages - 978-0-8161-4262-0
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