Sunday, March 25, 2012

A dalliance in murder ... Donald Westlake's The Hook

I recently agreed to review the audio book of Donald Westlake's The Hook for SFFaudio.com. It's a mystery/suspense novel, I believe the first I've ever read. The Hook was fun and Westlake is a good writer, though my opinion of it was not enough to prompt a rash of mystery titles reviewed here. But it's good to read outside your preferred genre and see how the other half lives from time to time.

7 comments:

The Wasp said...

The Hook sounds great and I'll check it out. Westlake's excellent Parker stories (written under the name Richard Stark and the basis for Lee Marvin's movie Point Blank) are unrelentingly brutal books about a professional criminal. Recently Darwyn Cooke's been turning them into pretty decent comics.

Keith said...

Westlake started out in the 50s as a science fiction writer before turning to mysteries. He's one of my favorites, in part because he was so versatile. He could do hardcore noir, such as the Parker novels The Wasp mentioned, but he could also do hilarious caper novels. The Dortmunder series is probably his best known work in this vein, and the first in the series (What's the Worst That Could Happen?) was filmed starring Martin Lawrence. I haven't read The Hook yet.

The Wasp said...

I think the first Dortmunder was actually the Hot Rock and Paul Newman and Zero Mostel did a film back in the early seventies. George C. Scott made Bank Shot a few years later. Gary Coleman made Jimmy the Kid which is probably best forgotten.

Andy said...

Another vote for the Parker novels. I think a Conan fan would enjoy them, although that's not meant to indicate that Parker is much like Conan as a character. Parker is much colder.

Brian Murphy said...

Thanks guys... who knew Westlake would have this kind of appeal amongst heroic fantasy fans?

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Love the Parker books. I think Parker shares a certain brutal pragmatism with Conan. Nice clean prose too and a narrative drive that won't let up.

Pericles said...

I can only add that the Parker novels are wonderful, at least the ones in the first go-around of the series.