In 1977, Donald E. Westlake released a book called Enough. Here in the states, that book collected two works, the short novel “A Travesty” and the novella length “Ordo”; in the UK that book included only the short novel. Enough went out of print a few decades ago. Luckily, the good folks at Hard Case […]Read more "One Hell of a Detective: “A Travesty”"
The Signalman is an agent for a shady government organization. As The Agents of Dreamland opens, he is waiting in a small diner in the blasted Arizona landscape for a meet with a woman called Immacolata Sexton—and isn’t that a wonderful name? The two are tied to an investigation of a cult known as The […]Read more "The Best Foreshadowing Never Seems Like Foreshadowing: Caitlin Kiernan’s Agents of Dreamland"
Academia is as prone to attracting arrogant pricks as it is to honest knowledge seekers. You know the sorts I am referring to, the folks who know enough about a specialized area to think they are somehow vital, influential thinkers. Narcissists. Sharks, around whom swim all manner of minnows waiting to be gobbled up. Simon […]Read more "Let the Dead Bury Their Dead: Simon Raven’s Doctors Wear Scarlet"
When Hard Case Crime released Memory, it was not necessarily billed as the last unpublished novel by the late grand master. However, readers might have built that assumption. Then, another unpublished novel from the late author was announced titled, appropriately enough The Comedy Is Finished. Was this the book the author intended as his final […]Read more "Things Done in Violence Have to Be Done Over Again: Donald E. Westlake’s The Comedy is Finished"
After his death in 2008 and the posthumous release of Get Real, readers held no expectations of seeing anything new from author Donald E. Westlake ever again. However, this was not to be the case. To date, publishing imprint Hard Case Crime has been a strong champion for Westlake’s works, reprinting early material while the […]Read more "Considering Westlake: Memory"
Synopsis: Frank (Frank Langella) is a “retired” jewel thief and second story man, a father of two, lover of many women, divorced/separated, and living alone in an upstate New York of the near future. His memories are slipping a tad, restaurants he can remember eating at last week have been gone for months or years, […]Read more "Movie Mondays: Robot & Frank"
Synopsis: Death comes to the shores of Britain aboard the doomed freighter Demeter. Although the sailors aboard the craft do their best to heave the danger overboard, they are unable to do so in a timely manner before the occupant plaguing their ship dispatches them. When the ship crashes near the home and workplace of […]Read more "Movie Mondays: Dracula"
The penultimate adventure for series heister Parker probably has the title that, at first brush and taken completely without context, may be one of the stupidest titles in Westlake’s oeuvre. Certainly one of the worst titles in the Richard Stark catalog. Ask the Parrot? What the hell is that supposed to connote. The book has […]Read more "Considering Westlake: Ask the Parrot"
Although he is best known for his humorous horrors and his dark thrillers, one of the best novels Jeff Strand has yet released may well be the comic road story, Kumquat. Has it received any award nominations? Sadly, no. Did it get a big push upon release? Also, sadly no. But it is a horror […]Read more "Cha Cha Cha Cha Cha! Satan Satan Satan!: Jeff Strand’s Kumquat"
The twelfth book in the Dortmunder series of comic caper stories finds its down on his luck protagonist in the midst of two scores, one of his own choosing and one that’s working against his best interests. It’s a setup that has not quite occurred before, at least not in this manner. Sure, the previous […]Read more "Considering Westlake: Watch Your Back!"