Thursday 16 September 2010

Westlake Score: The Road to Ruin by Donald E. Westlake

And so we saunter casually into the latter half of Westlake Week Mark II, perhaps pausing to reflect briefly on the various Westlake Scores, reviews and extended and largely pointless screeds about signed books we've encountered along the way, before stopping to doff our cap to yet another recent book arrival:

This is the UK hardback first edition of Donald E. Westlake's The Road to Ruin, published by Robert Hale in 2005 (originally published in the States by Mysterious Press in 2004), with a dustjacket illustration by regular Hale Westlake/Richard Stark cover artist Derek Colligan. This is the eleventh in Westlake's series featuring John Dortmunder, following 2002/2001's Bad News, the other Dortmunder book published by Hale during the period when they had the UK rights to Westlake's new work. It's just a shame the three books prior to these two – Drowned Hopes (1990), Don't Ask (1993) and What's the Wordt That Could Happen? (1996) – weren't published in the UK, or at least not until 2008 in the case of two of 'em. As I've pointed out before, it must've been a right bugger being a Westlake/ Dortmunder fan in the UK in the '90s – and remember this was before internet shopping became so widespread, so it would've been difficult to obtain those books in this country. You have to wonder how that publishing gap impacted Hale's sales...

The eagle-eyed among you might have spotted that a fair proportion of the Westlake Scores I've posted this week have been Dortmunder novels; basically I've been working my way along the list, collecting those books in the series I don't already have. Which is possibly a little foolhardy, seeing as at this point I've only read the first two books in the series, The Hot Rock and Bank Shot. But I have faith in Westlake. He won't let me down.

So, The Road to Ruin makes it eleven out of fourteen... but wait. What's this, hewing into view? Could it be another Westlake Score...?


  1. Thanks for adding me to your blogroll. I'll try and return the favour…

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. My pleasure Joel. Someone who reads this blog mentioned he'd bought Tripwire the other day, so I pointed him in the direction of your blog.