The Executioners - John D. MacDonald 1958 - Simon and Schuster, New York - First Edition The book on which Martin Scorcese’s ‘Cape Fear’ was based, by the author Stephen King described as ‘the great entertainer of our age, and a mesmerizing storyteller’. But note, MacDonald did not like the Scorcese version, and ‘savage as the film is, the ending of the book is even more cold-blooded’.

How far would you go to save your family?

First edition of John D. MacDonald’s iconic masterwork of suspense, the inspiration for not one but two Hollywood hits, a mild-mannered family is tormented by an obsessed criminal—and with the authorities powerless to protect them, they must take the law into their own hands.

‘an acute psychological study of base instinct, terror, mistakes, and raw emotion.’ – Lee Child.
  The two film adaptations, under the title ‘Cape Fear’, in 1962 directed by J. Lee Thompson and starring Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum, and in 1991 directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, and Jessica Lange.

John D. MacDonald (1916-86)was an American novelist and short-story writer. His works include the Travis McGee series and the novel
The Executioners, which was adapted into the film Cape Fear. In 1962 MacDonald was named a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America; in 1980, he won a National Book Award. In print he delighted in smashing the bad guys, deflating the pompous, and exposing the venal. In life, he was a truly empathetic man; his friends, family, and colleagues found him to be loyal, generous, and practical. In business, he was fastidiously ethical. About being a writer, he once expressed with gleeful astonishment, “They pay me to do this! They don’t realize, I would pay them.”’ – Penguin Classics.

Reference: Penguin Classics. Mystery Scene (blog).

Octavo pp. [6] 216. In publisher’s quarter orange cloth over black paper covered boards, spine lettered in black and silver, author's facsimile signature stamped in silver on the front board, top edge tinted orange. Dust jacket priced $3.50 to lower corner of front flap.
  Condition: Very good, top edge and top stain faded, small marks to lower edge of pastedowns and block, in very good no fading to spine, and minor wear to edges, 5mm closed tear to upper edge of front panel, with verso showing watermarks, which to a lesser extent are seen along the edges and folds of the flaps.   Ref: 109097   Price: HK$ 3,000