Category Archives: Donald Westlake

HARDBOILED, NOIR AND GOLD MEDALS by Rick Ollerman

Bringing together new essays with material published over the last decade, this new volume in the Stark House Reference range more than lives up to its subtitle: Essays on Crime Fiction Writers from the ’50s through to the 90s. Part of … Continue reading

Posted in Charles Williams, Donald Westlake, Ed Gorman, Friday's Forgotten Book, Harlan Ellison, Hollywood, Los Angeles, New York, Noir, Stark House Press, Wade Miller | 17 Comments

JOYLAND by Stephen King

This review is by way of a small tribute to Glen Orbik, who died on Monday after a long battle with cancer. He was the cover illustrator for many of the books published by Hard Case Crime, including this whodunit … Continue reading

Posted in Charles Ardai, Donald Westlake, Film Noir, Hard Case Crime, Stephen King | 38 Comments

SLAYGROUND (1971) by Richard Stark

One of the very last of the original run of novels featuring ultra-hardboiled, single moniker criminal Parker, it begins with a getaway that goes awry. He and his occasional colleague, Grofield, soon part company. To find out what happens to Grofield … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Blackpool, Donald Westlake, Film Noir, New York, Parker, Richard Stark | Tagged | 26 Comments

The Anderson Tapes (1971) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Given how surveillance culture has jumped to the very top of the political agenda, I thought it might be intriguing, and possibly even salutary, to look at a novel and film that got there very early, even before the Watergate … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Donald Westlake, Lawrence Sanders, New York, Sidney Lumet | Tagged , | 43 Comments

The Outfit (1973) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Despite being the third in the Parker series, this is a very good jumping on point for newbies as it summarises all that came before and brings to a close the initial arc, paving the way for a the next … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Donald Westlake, Film Noir, Parker, Richard Stark | 32 Comments

The name is Parker …

Who is Parker? Well, he is the elusive protagonist of a series of crime novels by ‘Richard Stark’ (aka Donald Westlake) – we never learn his first name but then Parker is not his real surname anyway. In the second … Continue reading

Posted in Donald Westlake, Film Noir, Parker, Richard Stark | 28 Comments

Payback – Straight Up: The Director’s Cut

When Parker, the Jason Statham / Jennifer Lopez movie was released, they used a rather obscure though witty strapline that only fans would probably enjoy: “Payback has a new name” Why is this amusing? Well it helps if you know that … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Donald Westlake, Film Noir, Parker, Richard Stark | Tagged , | 32 Comments

The Hot Rock (1972) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

John Archibald Dortmunder is a professional thief but not always a very lucky one. In his debut comic caper he plans and executes an elaborate jewel heist that quickly descends into farce when one of his team gets caught and … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Donald Westlake, Dortmunder, New York, William Goldman | Tagged , , | 40 Comments

KINDS OF LOVE, KINDS OF DEATH (1966) by Donald Westlake

Donald Edwin Edward Westlake (1933-2008) was a prolific writer and over the decades published all kinds of crime and mystery books – and other types of fiction too – under a great many pseudonyms. Of the dozen or so names … Continue reading

Posted in Donald Westlake, Film Noir, New York, Richard Stark, Scene of the crime | Tagged , | 12 Comments

THE HUNTER (1962) by Richard Stark

The writer protagonist in Stephen King’s The Dark Half, having failed as a literary novelist, uses ‘Stark’ as the pen name for a series of crime books about a killer, which become hugely popular to his growing chagrin. He explains that he … Continue reading

Posted in Donald Westlake, Film Noir, Five Star review, Parker, Richard Stark | 11 Comments