Considering Westlake: Breakout

Coming on the heels of Put a Lid On It, Breakout shows a certain train of thought Donald E. Westlake was having extrapolated onto another scenario and with a wildly different character. The opening chapters of the author’s previous political comedy (reviewed last week) shows a down on his luck crook protagonist dealing with life […]

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Considering Westlake: Bad News

John Dortmunder is no stranger to setbacks, hijinks, unexpected delays and bewildering circumstances. After several novels in his series, readers know exactly what they will be getting when they pick up one of his adventures. Oh, the details remain fluid and the characters—both the antagonists and the occasional new ally—are likely to offer some unexpected […]

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Considering Westlake: Firebreak

Donald E. Westlake’s pseudonym Richard Stark knows how to kick off his novels with incredible first lines and openings. The novel Firebreak is no slouch in that area: When the phone rang, Parker was in the garage, killing a man. His knees pressed down on the interloper’s back, his hands were clasped round his forehead. […]

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Considering Westlake: Flashfire

By the time 2000 rolled around, Donald E. Westlake had been chronicling master heister Parker’s adventures for almost four decades. Sure, the Richard Stark pen name had taken a bit of a hiatus for about two of those decades, but there are only so many times you can write a criminal doing crimes, right? Even […]

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