The new year gets off to a bad start with the death of the great mystery writer Donald Westlake who died on New Year’s Eve. A prolific writer with over 100 novels to his credit Westlake was a master at tough hard boiled crime novels which he wrote under the pseudonym Richard Stark. His protaganist went by the name of Parker and appeared in such novels as “The Hunter”, “The Man With the Getaway Face” and many others. On the flip side was John Dortmunder the main character in a series of comical crime capers that included “The Hot Rock”, “The Bank Shot”, “What’s the Worst That Could Happen?” and “What’s So Funny?”
Other novels included “The Ax”, “The Hook” which are two of my personal favorites, “361”, and “Somebody Owe’s Me Money”
Many of Westlake’s novels were made into movies. Here’s a partial list:
Point Blank (The Hunter)
The Hot Rock
The Bank Job
What’s the Worst That Could Happen
The Busy Body
A Slight Case of Murder (Made for TV movie from short novel A Travesty)
Westlake wrote or co-wr0te some of the following screenplays:
Cops and Robbers
For a complete listing of Westlake’s work here’s a link to his website.
New York Times Obit.