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Skylar von Gregory McDonald
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Skylar (Original 1995; 1995. Auflage)

von Gregory McDonald

Reihen: Skylar (book 1)

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862253,353 (3.64)1
A Southern beauty queen is killed and police arrest the local womanizer, Skylar Whitfield. Everyone in town knows he has too much charm to kill, but the local sheriff doesn't know charm and Whitfield will have to break out of jail to clear his name.
Mitglied:peter.lange.esquire
Titel:Skylar
Autoren:Gregory McDonald
Info:William Morrow & Co (1995), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 275 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
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Tags:First Edition

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Skylar von Gregory Mcdonald (1995)

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At times the "southern"-ness of this book gets laid on a little thick, but I suppose that's meant to be part of the joke, and it didn't bother me much.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, and look forward to reading more work by McDonald. His style is plain, direct, almost Hemingway-lite with its utilitarian descriptive passages, combined with largely noirish/deadpan dialog. The noir style still seeps through in this book even though it's crossed with, as one reviewer put it, an overly "cornpone" dialect.

One of the nicest things about this book is that the mystery was a real mystery, at least to me. Skylar, the main character, was actively involved in solving it without it seeming out of character for an intelligent farm boy to make connections and find clues.

I also liked that the "villain" of the story, Sheriff Culpepper, was extremely sympathetic, even though you could definitely tell he wasn't quite competent as a sheriff. You genuinely cared about his marriage and life troubles, and I liked that McDonald tied what seemed like completely disparate threads together at the end of the book.

The final confrontation between the Sheriff and Skyler did come off a bit clichéd, however, and I was disappointed that such a likable character morphed into a more cookie-cutter villain during the climax.

I wish I could have found a picture of the hardback cover from the copy I read instead of the picture I used up there. The hardback cover uses a much cooler image, of a long-legged blonde lying on her back and making the letter "Y" of Skylar's name with her legs. The paperback makes it look like some kind of Confederate sex novel.

I don't know whether or not I'll read the sequel novel (if I can even find it). According to reviews on Amazon, he lays on the "southern" aspect a little too thick in "Skylar in Yankeeland". ( )
  unsquare | Feb 16, 2021 |
I originally started this book almost a year ago and didn't get all that far before abandoning it. I think this was partially just a timing issue. I'm a fan of Gregory McDonald (the Fletch series is a favorite), but this one just started off in a way that I wasn't interested in at the time. After a year of staring at it unfinished, I finally decided to come back to it and get it read.

Overall an enjoyable story, but it felt lacking to me. I think my main issue is that parts of it feel like their missing, like a movie broadcast on television that's been edited for time. The motivations of some major characters is left open-ended and the wrap-up feels like without them. The primary villains of the piece are just kind of there to cause problems for Skylar without any reason. This fits with the idea that he himself hasn't done anything and is just a scapegoat to blame, but when the second villain comes into the picture in the third act, it feels clunky somehow.

It's hard getting into my gripes about this one without spoilers, but I will say that the justifications for the second villain feel like they could have been explored a little more, as their reasoning for doing what they do is really only half there. That is my real issue with this one, I think. Most whodunits of this type wrap-up with a full and satisfactory explanation of motive (think of the psychologist's explanation of Norman's condition in Psycho) and we don't get that here, probably because Skylar isn't in a position to know as just a young civilian who just happens to be wrongly accused, but the lack of logical explanation of the second villain's illogical actions is a problem for me. ( )
  regularguy5mb | Apr 16, 2020 |
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Skylar (book 1)
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A Southern beauty queen is killed and police arrest the local womanizer, Skylar Whitfield. Everyone in town knows he has too much charm to kill, but the local sheriff doesn't know charm and Whitfield will have to break out of jail to clear his name.

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