Thursday, January 01, 2009
Donald E. Westlake
The passing of Donald E. Westlake has already been widely noted (and blogged about), and nearly everyone has commented on his versatility as a writer. It's certainly true that he did fine work in a variety of genres. When talking about Westlake's work, people often mention the Parker novels he wrote as Richard Stark and the Dortmunder books and other comedies he wrote under his own name. Probably my favorites of Westlake's work, though, are the novels he wrote as Tucker Coe, about retired, disgraced cop Mitch Tobin, who functions as a reluctant and (if memory serves) unlicensed PI. These are bleak but wonderful books that really had an impact on me when I read them back in the Seventies. I may have to hunt them up and read some of them again. Rest in peace, Mr. Westlake.