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Donald E. Westlake is widely regarded as one of the great crime writers of the 20th Century. He won three Edgar Awards and was named a Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America. Many of his books have been made into movies; Westlake also wrote the screenplay for The Grifters, for which he received an Academy Award nomination.
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. Sadly missed US crime legend Westlake's books were often the object of many classic Hollywood adaptations, but he is also remembered as the screenwriter for The Grifters as a result of which he was once approached to pitch a James Bond story and treatment by the Bond producers for what could have become Bond 18. This was never used but, waste not want not, Westlake privately decided to write a novel based on it, which has only now come to light and been published, albeit with the character understandly given a new name. To take revenge on the Chinese after their take-over of Hong Kong, Richard Curtis, a sinister businessman plans to steal the city's gold by siphoning it out through a tunnel, and later detonating a terrible doomsday device to annihilate Hong Kong itself. Enter Manville, a Bond ersatz with an engineering background and all the charm, deadly skills of 007. Set partly on a luxury yacht, moving from the Great Barrier Reef to Singapore, the battle between fiend and hero is fast and epic, and ready-made for the big screen and offers thrills a go go. An afterword by a Bond movie producer sets the book in context. Fascinating and a fast, thrilling read. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
The men in the tan-and-cream Chrysler came with guns blazing. When Ray Kelly woke up in the hospital, it was a month later, he was missing an eye, and his father was dead. Then things started to get bad. From the mind of the incomparable Donald E. Westlake comes a devastating story of betrayal and revenge, an exploration of the limits of family loyalty and how far a man will go when everything he loves is taken from him.
Hapless criminal John Dortmunder returns in another rollicking tale of disorganized crime from Grand Master of Mystery Donald E. Westlake. It's the score of a lifetime: easy access to a lavish New York City apartment, hordes of valuables, and an absentee owner avoiding the lawyers of his unhappy ex-wives. But before they pull the job, Dortmunder's crew is startled to find their beloved gin joint, the OJ, in the clutches of the Mafia-who consider it perfect for a little fraud, courtesy of a nice big fire. For tactical and highly superstitious reasons, the fate of the OJ is even more important to the crew than the enormous score. Now, Dortmunder and his gang are determined to split their time, fighting the mob and robbing the rich simultaneously.
All it takes is a few underhanded moves by a tough ex-cop named Eppick to pull thief John Dortmunder into a game he never wanted to play. With no choice, he musters his always-game gang and they set out on a perilous treasure hunt for a long-lost gold and jewel-studded chess set once intended as a birthday gift for the last Romanov czar, which unfortunately reached Russia after that party was over. From the moment Dortmunder reaches for his first pawn, he faces insurmountable odds. The purloined past of this precious set is destined to confound any strategy he finds on the board. Success is not inevitable with John Dortmunder leading the attack, but he's nothing if not persistent, and some gambit or other might just stumble into a winning move.
Dortmunder's past comes back to haunt him when he returns home after an unsuccessful burglary and finds his old cellmate sitting in his living room. He needs Dortmunder's help in retrieving $700,000 that he'd buried in a small town 30 years before. The problem is that, while he sat in jail, the State of New York flooded the area to build a reservoir; the loot is now under a few feet of dirt and many feet of water. Being a man of great determination but few ethical principles, the thief plans to blow up the dam, emptying the reservoir but also flooding the inhabited countryside to get at his stash. Dortmunder pleads with him to be allowed to retrieve the money another way. His first attempt fails. And his second. And third. Meanwhile the thief is losing patience...
Cab driver Chet Conway was hoping for a good tip from his latest fare, the sort he could spend. But what he got was a tip on a horse race. Which might have turned out okay, except that when he went to collect his winnings, Chet found his bookie lying dead on the living room floor. Chet knows he had nothing to do with it-but just try explaining that to the cops, to the two rival criminal gangs who each think Chet's working for the other, and to the dead man's beautiful sister, who has flown in from Las Vegas to avenge her brother's murder...
In his classic caper novels, Donald E. Westlake turns the world of crime and criminals upside down. The bad get better, the good slide a bit, and Lord help anyone caught between a thief named John Dortmunder and the current object of his intentions. Now Westlake's seasoned but often scoreless crook must take on an impossible crime, one he doesn't want and doesn't believe in. But a little blackmail goes a long way in... WHAT'S SO FUNNY? All it takes is a few underhanded moves by a tough ex-cop named Eppick to pull Dortmunder into a game he never wanted to play. With no choice, he musters his always-game gang and they set out on a perilous treasure hunt for a long-lost gold and jewel-studded chess set once intended as a birthday gift for the last Romanov czar, which unfortunately reached Russia after that party was over. From the moment Dortmunder reaches for his first pawn, he faces insurmountable odds. The purloined past of this precious set is destined to confound any strategy he finds on the board. Success is not inevitable with John Dortmunder leading the attack, but he's nothing if not persistent, and some gambit or other might just stumble into a winning move.
Intrepid reporter Sara Joslyn, having escaped the clutches of the supermarket tabloid Weekly Galaxy, is finally going to be allowed to practice "e;clean journalism."e; Unfortunately, intrepid editor Jack Ingersoll has other plans, assigning her to a gory sex-murder trial in Branson, Missouri, home to more country stars than there are in the heavens.While delving into the muck, rake in hand, Sara runs into her old comrades from the Galaxy - Binx Radwell, Boy Cartwright, and the Down Under Trio among them. At the eye of this journalistic cyclone is country musician Ray Jones; is he guilty of the grisly murder, and what else is he up to, if anything?The lyrics to eleven Ray Jones hits are sprinkled throughout the novel and are an important accompaniment to the proceedings, if only Sara and Jack can keep their fingers out of their ears long enough to hear it....
Featuring Westlake's hapless hero John Dortmunder, this original compilation of short stories ties in to the author's latest Dortmunder hardcover, "e;The Road to Ruin."e;
After a year on the lam, the return of bumbling thief Dortmunder is a cause celebre. The author's most recent Dortmunder caper. "e;The Road to Ruin,"e; and the short story collection, "e;Thieves' Dozen,"e; received rave reviews in the "e;New York Times Book Review, New York Daily News,"e; and "e;Kirkus Reviews"e; (starred review), among other publications.
The con is on. the mark is Monroe Hall, a corrupt CEO who lavished more of his company's money on himself than the boys at Enron and WorldCom combined. The loot? A fleet of vintage automobiles that would leave the Sultan of Brunei blushing. The catch? Trying to outsmart a collection of angry union men who've been taken for a ride and blue-blooded suckers who've been taken for their family fortunes. But if Dortmunder and his merry band of crooks are to drive off with the loot, they'll have to act fast - before they get caught in a deadly crossfire.
This time out John Dortmunder and his merry band of crooks return to the scene of the crime world in an attempt to steal a fleet of automobiles that would leave the sultan of Brunei blushing. The mark is Monroe Hall, corrupt CEO of a now defunct conglomerate, who spent more of his company's money on himself than the boys at Enron and WorldCom combined. Having escaped prosecution, Hall is holed up on his massive Pennsylvania farm and Dortmunder, as usual, has his eyes on the big prize: Hall's vintage wheels.
The critically acclaimed, bestselling author of The Ax and The Hook is back in rare form as he introduces Meehan, a character who keeps the lid from blowing off Washington politics. Meehan, a career thief staring at life without parole, is awaiting sentencing at the Manhattan Correctional Center when he is called to a meeting by someone masquerading as his lawyer. The man, it turns out, represents the presidential reelection campaign committee now finding itself in need of a little professional help. So they outsource Meehan in return for a walk from all pending criminal charges. All he has to do is steal a compromising video tape before the other side springs an October Surprise on the president. A shrewd burglar, Meehan bites-and shows just how easy Watergate would have been had they left it to the professionals.
Novellas from Transgressions by Ed McBain, Anne Perry and Donald E. Westlake"e;Merely Hate"e; by Ed McBain: When a string of Muslim cabdrivers are killed the detectives of the 87th Precinct must hunt down a killer before the city explodes in violence."e;Hostages"e; by Anne Perry: In their eternal struggle for freedom, there is about to be a changing of the guard in the Irish Republican Army. Yet for some, old habits-and honor-die hard. "e;Walking Around Money"e; by Donald E. Westlake: If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is, and the hapless crook, John Dortmunder, must get to the bottom of this slam-dunk caper before he's left holding the bag.
When plotting a murder (figuratively speaking), the mystery writer has at hand any number of M.O.s, including such tried and true conventions as the locked room, the unbreakable alibi, the double bluff, and the mistaken identity. Now, in Murderous Schemes, renowned mystery writers Donald E. Westlake and J. Madison Davis offer an illuminating look at eight such mystery conventions, illustrating each with four short stories written by some of the masters of the form. The resulting collection of thirty-two tales spans a hundred and fifty years of crime fiction and includes virtually every style imaginable, from the hard-boiled detective story to the cozy armchair mystery. the differences between American and British detective fiction, and they illuminate the evolution of crime writing over time. Here is a glorious treasure chest of tales that cover every crime in the book, written by a who's who of crime fiction-Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins, Arthur Conan Doyle, G. K. Chesterton, Raymond Chandler, Dorothy L. Sayers, Chester Himes, Edward D. Hoch, and Lawrence Block, to name but a few. Bringing together a century and a half of superb crime stories, Murderous Schemes is a glorious collection that will inform and delight anyone who loves mystery and mayhem.
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