Archive for 'Westlake, Donald E.'
I was on a search for books featuring charming rogues and several people recommended the Dortmunder books by Westlake. Whatâ€™s the Worst that Could Happen? appears to be the second book in the series about the burglar Dortmunder and it was a delight from beginning to end.
Dortmunder is a working burglar who has been going through a rough patch. When his girlfriend inherits her uncleâ€™s â€œlucky ringâ€ and gives it to him, Dortmunder feels his luck is sure to turn around. Unfortunately, our hapless burglar is working in a supposedly empty house later that night and is discovered and captured by the armed homeowner. This is embarrassing, but a hazard of the job that Dortmunder is willing to accept. But the situation becomes intolerable when the homeowner claims that Dortmunder has stolen his ring and the police â€œreturnâ€ Dortmunderâ€™s new lucky ring to the homeowner. Dortmunder is outraged and vows to have his ring back.
This book isnâ€™t a mystery, it is a caper. Dortmunder comes up with a series of increasingly complicated and sophisticated plans to secure the return of his ring as he has several near misses with its new owner. He is joined in his endeavors by a growing number of his cohorts in crime who are sympathetic to his plight. And what characters they are! Westlake depicts these criminals as professionals, men of honor, and loyal to their brethren. Okay, itâ€™s probably not realistic, but it suits the purpose and is fun to read.
This book is very funny, it isnâ€™t violent, and if it werenâ€™t for the burglaries, you might even find it wholesome. Westlake is a fantastic writer and if you love a caper, as I do, or if you are looking for something different from your usual, I highly recommend this book.
Favorite character? I was spoiled for choice in this book. But the girlfriend, May, is a rock and illustrates the normality of Dortmunderâ€™s life, so I will go with her. Did I guess it? Not really that kind of book. Will I read another? Absolutely.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com Â©2007