Those of us who devoured the endlessly entertaining crime novels about the pessimistic crook John Dortmunder and his pals Andy Kelp, Stan Murch and Tiny Bulcher, plus the dark novels about a killer named only Parker, are saddened to read of the death in Mexico of the great writer Donald E. Westlake. He was 75.
Westlake wrote at a relentless pace in his prime and needed several pseudonyms to disguise from publishers the fact that he could write four or more novels a year. He used a portable manual typewriter.
He wrote the Dortmunder books (The Hot Rock" and dozens of others) under his real name and wrote the dark Parker novels as Richard Stark.
A final Dortmunder book reportedly is due in April.