"Montrealer Don McVicar, who has written several entertaining books about his experiences as a pilot with Ferry Command and other operations during the Second World War, has turned his hand to fiction.
"The Grass Runway" tells 'how the combination of high oil prices, an unscrupulous aircraft dealer and a bitching wife forced two honest pilots into a hazardous drug-smuggling flight."' Entertaining reading.
May No.l 1991 edition of THE CANADIAN AIRCRAFT OPERATOR:
"All of those who enjoyed Don McVicar's documentation on his adventures while flying in the RAF Ferry Command during WWII should be delighted with his first novel, The Grass Runway.
"McVicar appears to be even more adept at spinning a gripping yarn than he is at simply recounting his true life adventures.
"The Grass Runway" tells of a small flying operation struggling to generate enough business to keep ahead of all the creditors which is maneuvered, through a series of unrelated events, into risking a delivery of marijuana (grass) from a South American source and clashing, in the process, with the local chapter of the drug-running establishment.
"McVicar takes care to develop his characters fully, leaving no doubt as to what motivates whom, and weaves his individual intrigues skilfully into the fabric of the big plot."
"The action is fast-moving and event follows event logically throughout the novel. All of McVicar's men are human and believable and all his women voluptuous, which is the way all good yarns ought to be written. The reason most of us read is for relief from the boredom of ordinary people and events."
"In the end good guys win big, the bad guys lose, each in accordance with the degree of his sin, and the hero is left in a position vulnerable to the advances of the heroine. Here, McVicar allows the reader's own imagination to pick a suitable conclusion." Gripping narrative.
Canadian Owners and Pilots CGA NEWS June, 1991:
"Don McVicar's first novel, The Grass Runway, is a story of high adventure. He wrote the first draft of this novel in 1981 while working on his second autobiographical book, North Atlantic Cat.
"Writing a novel is quite different from recording a historically accurate "self" story, and in some ways more challenging. Drug smuggling, especially by air, is difficult and adventuresome. The Grass Runway tells of how a technically feasible operation could be carried out if uncontrollable circumstances forced rules of law to be broken."
"Every writer of novels becomes attached to the fictional characters he/she had brought to life. McVicar is no different. In describing the characteristics of his five pilots he remembered those pilots he met during 50 years of active flying. The steely determination of his heroine, Carmen, is concealed beneath her vital beauty."
"Coincidentally, in 1984 a thug named Robert Vesco established a base on Norman's Cay in the Exumas. About the same time a Convair 880 was impounded by the Drug Enforcement Agency in New Orleans. The Bahamian Island chain of the Exumas and a Convair 880 are central to the plot of The Grass Runway, which in 1981 McVicar thought just a bit 'far out."
Bill Peppler and his helpers reported a very enjoyable read.