Review: Cape Fear by John MacDonald


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….


Scorsese really did me dirty. The De Niro movie may be outrageous but my god does it make you sit in the edge of your seat. This book did the exact opposite. I was so far IN my seat I was practically sinking into the cushions of out boredom.

It took me 2 months to read this 197 page book! Unlike in the movie, there is no tension or feeling of fear in this version of the story. Considering it’s small page number, this felt incredibly slow.

One thing I love about the film is the disfunction within the family that creates more of an intense environment. In the book, everything is cookie cutter and sickeningly perfect which completely added to my distaste.

Quite honestly, I pretty much hated everything about this book. The characters were boring, the story was slow with no feeling of malice, and without spoilers, the ending is completely different and FAR less heart racing and exciting. I’m not sure I can even call it an anticlimax as there was no build up to begin with, so let’s just say it was a boring end for a boring story. YAWN. 2 stars only because I actually managed to finish it, but by god, it was very close to being a DNF.

Rating: ⭐⭐

Book Details:

Pages: 197
Edition Published: 2014, Orion Books

Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Goodreads Av. Rating: 4.08

5 Replies to “Review: Cape Fear by John MacDonald”

  1. “I was so far IN my seat I was practically sinking into the cushions of out boredom” — this is too funny! I don’t think I’ve ever seen the movie but what a twist, that it’s so much better than the book!!

    Liked by 1 person

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