Cape Fear: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Cape Fear: A Novel (Formerly Titled the Executioners) Mass Market Paperback – April 25, 2006

31 customer reviews

See all 32 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$9.92 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Badlands: A Novel by C. J. Box
Badlands: A Novel by C. J. Box
Edgar Award-winning, New York Times bestselling author C.J. Box is back with a masterpiece of suspense set in a time and place that readers won't soon forget. Learn more | See related books

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for John D. MacDonald
 
The great entertainer of our age, and a mesmerizing storyteller.”—Stephen King
 
“My favorite novelist of all time . . . All I ever wanted was to touch readers as powerfully as John D. MacDonald touched me. No price could be placed on the enormous pleasure that his books have given me. He captured the mood and the spirit of his times more accurately, more hauntingly, than any ‘literature’ writer—yet managed always to tell a thunderingly good, intensely suspenseful tale.”—Dean Koontz
 
“To diggers a thousand years from now, the works of John D. MacDonald would be a treasure on the order of the tomb of Tutankhamen.”—Kurt Vonnegut
 
“A master storyteller, a masterful suspense writer . . . John D. MacDonald is a shining example for all of us in the field. Talk about the best.”—Mary Higgins Clark
 
“The consummate pro, a master storyteller and witty observer . . . John D. MacDonald created a staggering quantity of wonderful books, each rich with characterization, suspense, and an almost intoxicating sense of place.”—Jonathan Kellerman
 
“There’s only one thing as good as reading a John D. MacDonald novel: reading it again. A writer way ahead of his time, he is the all-time master of the American mystery novel.”—John Saul

From the Inside Flap

An insane criminal threatens to destroy a family, and the police are powerless to protect them.
For fourteen years convicted rapist Max Cady nursed his hatred for Sam Bowden into an insane passion for revenge. He lived only for the day he would be free -- free to track down and destroy the man who had put him behind bars.
Murder was merciful compared to what Cady had in mind -- and what Cady had in mind was Bowden's innocent and lovely teenaged daughter . . . .
"A powerful and frightening story." -- The New York Times
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Series: Formerly Titled the Executioners
  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett; Rei Mti edition (April 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449131904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449131909
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #716,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Zeldock on May 16, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This tidy novel by John D. MacDonald would probably be lost today in the tidal wave of 20th-century thrillers and mysteries, if it weren't for the 1962 movie version with Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck (and the 1991 remake by Martin Scorsese, which I have not seen). While the book has a bit less action than the movie, it does develop the characters in much more interesting ways. The Sam of the book, for example, is more human and less steely jawed than Gregory Peck's portrayal, while his wife has more of a take-charge attitude than Polly Bergen displayed. We also learn more about the villain than the 1962 movie revealed.

The plot and various details of the setting are quite different from the 1962 movie. The setting is not specific (and has nothing to do with the Cape Fear River). The climax and the events leading up to it are especially unlike the movie (a nice surprise).

One other aspect of the book I need to comment on: MacDonald's portrayal of law practice is a little off the mark. First, in a conversation with one of his law partners, Sam is told that he's the token honest man in the firm, that every law firm has one, and that most lawyers are continually bending the rules. In reality, most lawyers are very particular about the rules; the rule-benders and corner-cutters are the minority. Second, at one point Sam calls his partner to "ask" if he can take a week off. Law-firm partners (especially in a small firm like Sam's) are all "bosses"; they don't need to ask each other for permission to take time off. (They may ask another partner if s/he wouldn't mind covering a matter while they're gone, but that's not what Sam was doing.) In any event, those are minor quibbles.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steve Reina VINE VOICE on November 4, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Thanks to this book Max Cady belongs to that pantheon of great mythical characters.

Aside from that accomplishment frankly this is a book which succeeds on so many other levels it's hard to keep them straight:

1) It succeeds in introducing believeable characters. Because Cady isn't one dimensional but rather believeably evil the book gains reader crediblity right off the bat. We've all met our enemies in life, Cady just happens to a very bad example of one.

2) It succeeds in quickly getting to the story. MacDonald wisely doesn't waste time on long build ups of mea culpas. You get the details and you get them quick.

3) The story builds in intensity. As you get these details MacDonald's characters react in believeable understandable ways.

4) It also keeps you guessing right until the end. A great example of the genre from which it arises this book maintains suspence right through to the end which keeps readers right there, on the edge of their seat following the story.

In fact to my eye this book accomplishes everything it does so well I think it's actually better than even the movies it inspired.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 17, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Though John D. MacDonald's "The Excecutioners" (renamed "Cape Fear" after the release of the movie) is an exceptional novel, one cannot help but compare it to the movie. Somehow, seeing these performances put on screen and portrayed to electrifying intensity (most notably the 1962 version, where Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck crackle with tension -- and Mitchum performs one of the most believeable performances ever filmed) makes it even better than merely reading it. I am not saying that, overall, movies are better than books, I believe neither medium is "better", both having their own advantages. MacDonald sure needs to receive kudos, though, for writing mounting suspense and for creating a memorable character in the villain Max Cady. Book: ****1/2. Movie ('62): *****. Movie ('91): ****1/2.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Because I had seen the film versions, I was continually imagining the actors in the roles of the book. There are several episodes in the book that didn't make the final film cuts, so that kept the book fresh and anticipatory for me. Classic stuff.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By lazza on May 15, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
'Cape Fear' by John MacDonald equates to so many mystery novels found on supermarket shelves nowadays. That is, there is a formulaic plot, some honest to goodness suspense, and one getting the sense of reading the book before (, or perhaps seeing it on television). Although the book is set in the 1950s and has a dated feel to it, I still found it suspenseful and the story largely credible.

So what about the story? Well it is only roughly similar to the film adaptations. We have and "Ozzie & Harriet"-type of family who are stalked by a crazed psychopath and sexual predator. It seems that "Ozzie" was instrumental in sending Mr Psycho to the clink because he witnessed him raping a teenager. Fast forward fifteen years and we have our wholesome family, now with a nubile fifteen year old daughter, scared witless. But in the end they do collect their wits in order to survive (...sorry, no spoilers).

Bottom line: a reasonably good read that probably would have gone out of print if not due to the legacy of the film adaptations.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Truly a great novel for a suspenseful evening read. This is John MacD in one of his many different modes as author. From Travis McGee to Condominiums to classic noir detectives and suspense thriller - it's all good.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: suspense thrillers