Cover image for The road to ruin
Title:
The road to ruin
Author:
Westlake, Donald E.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Mysterious Press, 2004.
Physical Description:
342 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780892968015
Format :
Book

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FICTION Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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Summary

Summary

Having set up a con on Monroe Hall, a fabulously wealthy and corrupt CEO, John Dortmunder and his hapless gang of crooks suddenly find themselves caught in the deadly crossfire between their would-be mark Hall and his own victims.


Author Notes

Author Donald E. Westlake was born in Brooklyn, New York on July 12, 1933. He attended colleges in New York, but did not graduate. He wrote more than 100 novels and 5 screenplays throughout his lifetime. He also wrote under numerous pseudonyms including Richard Stark, Tucker Coe, and Samuel Holt. Almost 20 of his novels were adapted into films and he created the television series, The Father Dowling Mysteries. He is a three-time winner of the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America and was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay for The Grifters. He was also named a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master in 1993. He died of a heart attack on December 31, 2008 at the age of 75.

(Bowker Author Biography) Donald E. Westlake has won three Edgar Awards & was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for "The Grifters". He lives in upstate New York.

(Publisher Provided)


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In the the eleventhohn Dortmunder caper, The Road to Ruin0 , the conspicuous target of larcenous intent is one Monroe Hall, the broadly drawn, babyish CEO and chief perpetrator of an Enron-like financial debacle, which has made him a pariah to friends and potential employees but still rich in funds and enemies. When a disgruntled former chauffeur hires Dortmunder and his crew to steal Hall's classic-car collection for the insurance, together with all the swag they can haul, our clumsy confederation of bandits decides to sidestep the estate's elaborate security system by hiring themselves on as staff, with rumpled second-story man Dortmunder in the unlikely role of butler. Meanwhile, a bumbling band of blue collars from a defrauded union makes an uneasy alliance with a dire duo of aggrieved venture capitalists in a plot to kidnap Hall and force him to electronically transfer offshore funds into their accounts. While fans will find plenty of the wry humor and meandering charm they have come to expect from this fine series, Westlake's elaborate setup falls short of its promise, preparing readers for a farcical train wreck only to shunt them onto a siding for a low-key derailment and serving up deadpan humor that is often just dead. --David Wright Copyright 2004 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

In this boisterous 11th outing (after 2001's Bad News) featuring John Dortmunder, Westlake's hapless crook and his gang decide to hire on as live-in staff to a wealthy corporate crook as a way to get access to, and ultimately steal, his collection of antique cars. Then things start to crumble, as they tend to do around Dortmunder. Not his fault, of course. Who could know that three other sets of people are also plotting revenge on this same crook? Or that these other bozos would kidnap the crook, thereby bringing the police onto the scene just at the wrong time? And who could have predicted that Dortmunder would be kidnapped right along with the boss? The only thing we know for sure is, it's all funny. Nobody does comic capers better than Westlake. This one unfolds with such cinematic energy that we don't so much read it as watch while the players race around the countryside and almost bang into each other. Sparkling droplets of Westlake wit abound: a fence named Honest Irving, a small Pennsylvania town named Shickshinny, a security guard named Mort Pessle and Dortmunder's gargantuan pal Tiny, who "didn't so much sit in an automobile as wear it." Almost everyone comes out at the end with dignity and limbs intact, but with no loot. The good news for readers is that Dortmunder is free to try again another day. (Apr. 21) FYI: A Dortmunder story collection, Thieves' Dozen (Forecasts, Mar. 8), is being released simultaneously. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved