Darker Than Amber

Darker Than Amber

by John D. MacDonald

DTA

A great bestseller starring Travis McGee, a real American hero–and maybe the star of a new movie franchise! Reissue.

Helping damsels in distress is nothing new for Travis McGee–it’s basically how he spends his life. But this one was different right from the start. Tossed off a bridge with cement wired to her feet, dragged to safety by Travis and Meyer, she was a hot Eurasian beauty with a cold heart…ready to snare them in a murder racket to end all murders….

I started February desperately needing an escape into the tropical Florida weather I love. Sadly, this Florida February was dismally cold, wet, and windy. So I turned to one of my recent favorites for an escape, John D MacDonald.

Travis and Meyer are enjoying a quiet evening fishing under a bridge in South Florida when a body comes pummeling down from the road above. Travis acts instinctively, diving in after the body and miraculously pulling the young woman out alive. Evangeline, Vangie for short, opens up to her rescuers. She tells of the dark life she has lead and the murder ring that led to her attempted disposal. McGee only wishes to help the young woman find a new life but instead finds himself vengefully working to discover the truth and destroy the criminal operation.

I want to start out with the negative. This series was written in the 70s in a James Bond/Miami Vice/Magnum PI style. Feminists who easily get their feelings bent about negative cliche representations of women need to steer clear. The book starts with McGee dealing with an old female friend who had become desperately needy and twitchy thanks to an abusive marriage. The woman uses McGee’s boat as a form of escape that naturally results in consensual adult escapades. Additionally, Vangie and her friends are high paid hookers who lure rich single men onto cruises where the girls’ pimps steal fortunes before tossing the marks overboard. The majority of the women in Darker Than Amber are not presented in a positive light. And this is the biggest complaint I have seen. I will add that Travis does complement a handful of secondary female characters who are wholesome and intelligent.

The negativity is more of a commentary on the lack of honest, good people in the world. McGee laments on how he feels used by his old friend; frustrated that knowing she will return to the abusive husband after all. He grieves at how Vangie’s upbringing has given little other options.

I enjoyed Darker Than Amber because it gives us a different look at Travis than I experienced with Tan and Sandy Silence. Travis’ snarky, happy-go-lucky attitude is missing as he barrels forward in stubborn determination to force the ‘bad guys’ to pay. This is a Travis that will do anything to survive; a more vindictive Travis. I prefer the lighthearted Travis, but I enjoyed the complexity presented here.

I enjoyed Darker Than Amber, and am looking forward to reading more by John D MacDonald this year. Are you a fan? What are you reading to get your summer vibes?

Lindsay

Advertisements

Ghosts of Key West

Ghosts of Key West

by David L. Sloan

567422

Key West’s past comes alive with thirteen incredible stories of the southernmost ghosts. From Victorian era spirits returning to claim what is rightfully theirs, to haunted dolls that continue to send chills down their visitors’ spines, Ghosts of Key West beautifully captures the true spirit of Florida’s second oldest city. Ghosts of cigar makers, pirates, wreckers and voodoo practitioners all await you. While their ghostly journeys continue through time, yours is just about to begin. Ghosts of Key West author David L. Sloan founded Key West’s original ghost tour and is the leading authority on the island’s hauntings.

 I needed a spooky read to help get me extra excited about a tropically vacation, and luckily Ghosts of Key West was just sitting there on our shelves. It was just what I needed! 

Ghosts of Key West is a super short read, taking only an hour or so to get through, and is told in a ‘stories around the campfire’ format. There are tons of black and white pictures of historic key west homes and portraits of the people still haunting the island. The ghost stories are educational as they provide a decent amount of island history alongside the ghostly tales. Its broken up in to short chapters, each with their own ghost story, that i feel makes it a better read.

Sadly, it is very poorly written. The plot of each story is very jumpy and full of random first person encounters. These first person stories were annoying for someone who picked up the book for history. The writing issues could have probably been fixed with a good editing or two. 

Ghosts of Key West a good starter book if you’re planning on hitting the keys for a vacation. It’s a nice introduction to the ghostly history of the island, but I definitely recommend taking a tour if you visit. 

Anyone else love a good ghost story? Who else loves the Florida Keys?

Lindsay

Florida Reading

Spring is here and soon it will be warm enough for reading days at the beach! Until then I am sharing pictures that show the joy of reading in Florida.

It’s finally warm enough to go to the beach. I will be hitting my favorite reading spot soon!


I hope you all get plenty of beach time in the coming months. I plan to have plenty of sand between the pages!

Lindsay

Florida Reading

Spring  is here and soon it will be warm enough for reading days at the beach! Until then I am sharing pictures that show the joy of reading in Florida.

image

image

Spring always means lazy afternoons outside reading and soaking up some sun. It’s a plus when my favorite reading buddy joins me!

Happy Reading!

Lindsay

What to Expect: January

January

Happy 2016 fellow readers!

Those who read my other site, LBoitnott, will know that 2015 was just an ok year for me. Now, I’m not being ungrateful or whiny, because 2015 had a few wonderful moments, but, certain events left me with less time than desired for my passions. I had precious little time and energy for reading and providing reviews. Proof is in the numbers!

May – December 2014: 57 books reviewed

January – December 2015: 47 books reviewed

Ideally, the numbers should have been reversed. I still begin 2016 with 104 books and short stories reviewed on Sand Between the Pages! I started this site in May 2014 because I desperately needed to escape the stress of grad school and regain my love for reading. Sand Between the Pages has helped me do just that, and so much more. It has pushed me to read more, enhanced my writing and editing skills, and introduced me to so many wonderful people!

I do have goals for the coming year and feel free to read about them here. Just know that I plan to once again embrace my passion for reading and reviews in 2016. So many books and so little time! I can’t wait to share them all!

It is finally starting to feel like winter in Florida, so you can look forward to some wintery thrillers and mysteries this month. We all know how much I love my arctic survival stories! (though I have no idea why. I am such a wheeny when it comes to real snow) Plus, you may hear a bit about the upcoming Alaskan dog sled races 😛

Happy 2016 everyone! And happy reading friends!

Lindsay

What to Expect – APRIL

What to Expect – APRIL

Happy April Fools Day!

Here’s what to expect in April on Sand Between the Pages.  March was all over the darn place and I was left with a number of partially read novels that desperately need to be finished!  So, I going to finish them and get the reviews up this month.  I’m not sharing any titles; you’ll just have to be surprised!  I’ll give you a hint…see if you can figure out the genres from the pictures bellow!

One Direction Niall Horan animated GIF

Movies Harry Potter animated GIF

Vintage Sf animated GIF

Other updates for Sand Between the Pages:  I will no longer post a writing update at the end of each month.  I have a sister page, which you can see HERE, that is dedicated to my writing.  Please take the time to check out my progress!  I need all the encouragement I can get!

Spring has officially arrived in Florida, so I will be spending my afternoons soaking up the sun and reading!  Have a great day and enjoy this picture of Kata sporting her new headband! (Helps me not lose her in the yard!)

1