The Executioners by John D. MacDonald
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Having seen both versions of Cape Fear, films based on this novel, they have clearly tainted my perspective of the source material. The Cape Fears were excellent adaptations, not to say that the novel is weak, it’s very good, although I think that the films do a better job of maintaining the tension and terror, and have a superior climax. The films do a better job portraying the psychotic Max Cady. In the book he is introduced early then is “off camera” for most of the rest. One advantage of the novel is the clever and snappy banter between Sam Bowden and his wife Carol, although sometimes it falls flat as being too staged and cutesie for typical folks that aren’t brilliant writers. So yeah, my expectations were pretty high and I was somewhat disappointed. I've read better JDM, and this is one of those rare novels where the movies are better that the book. Three stars.
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