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Donald Westlake
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February 12 2018

Review: Help I Am Being Held Prisoner by Donald E. Westlake

Help I Am Being Held Prisoner by Donald E. Westlake is a rediscovered crime classic from the MWA Grand Master returning to stores for the first time in three decades (available February 13, 2018). Hard...
June 14 2017

5 New Books to Read this Week: June 13, 2017

Every Wednesday, we here at Criminal Element will put together a list of Staff Picks of the books that published the day before—sharing the ones that we are looking forward to reading the...
Charles Ardai
June 13 2017

You Only Live Twice: Discovering Donald Westlake’s Lost James Bond Novel

Donald E. Westlake once told me, “The difference between in print and out of print is precisely the difference between life and death.” He was alive when he said this, obviously; he...
June 8 2017

From Westlake with Love: Exploring Donald Westlake’s Lost Bond Novel, Forever and a Death

The James Bond I prefer, the “real” James Bond, is the one that exists outside of the bloated, by-the-numbers films. The highly profitable franchise produced few faithful adaptations,...
December 8 2016

Point Blank (1967): The Only Neo-Noir that Matters

I’ve been a consumer of countless crime fiction novels, films, and television for most of my life now—from eras ranging from Raymond Chandler to Elmore Leonard to Dennis Lehane—yet...
June 7 2016

Back to the Beginning: Revisiting The Hunter by Richard Stark

Parker has become one of the most celebrated characters in crime fiction. Over the course of 24 novels spanning four decades, this tough-talking, tougher-acting thief bulldozed his way through the years,...
May 17 2016

Richard Stark and Parker: Thick as Thieves

“When the phone rang, Parker was in the garage, killing a man.” -Richard Stark, Firebreak When a book has an opening line like the one shown above, you’re compelled to...
May 11 2016

5 Great Crime Novels Meet 5 Great Jazz Tracks

Although reading is a largely visual task (albeit in practice and not in the sense of a picture), what makes it so enjoyable is the imaginative task of creating a world with all of your senses...
June 19 2014

The Dirty, Criminal Past of Grand Central Terminal

“Meet me by the clock.” For generations of New Yorkers that’s been a not-so-secret code leading to a rendezvous point in one of the most highly traveled buildings in the City,...
December 23 2013

Fresh Meat: Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground by Darwyn Cooke

Parker: Slayground by writer and artist Darwyn Cooke continues his award-winning graphic adaptations of the Parker series of hardboiled crime novels by Richard Stark (available December 24, 2013). I...
January 10 2013

Lost Classics of Noir: The Name of the Game is Death by Dan J. Marlowe

“With admiration, for Dan J. Marlowe, author of The Name of the Game is Death: Hardest of the hardboiled.” This unexpected shout out comes from Stephen King, in the pages of his Hard...
January 6 2012

The Mysteries of Mysterious Bookstores

Readers of mystery fiction may or may not be the most avid fans of their particular genre but they’ve got to be high on the list. Which might go a long way toward explaining why so much mystery fiction...
December 1 2011

Otto Penzler and I, or Hopeful Luddites Talk Digital

I’ve never downloaded an electronic book. My book has sold a number of Kindle copies, which leads me to feel a strange imbalance—what does it mean that I produce material for a media I don’t...
August 8 2011

Rizzoli & Isles, Dresden, and Statham: Back Pat Round-Up

We pointed out that seemingly irresisitible combination of women and dead bodies! Whether you already follow Tess Gerritsen’s novels about Boston Detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura...
June 21 2011

Jason Statham as Richard Stark’s Parker?

On the heels of the overwhelmingly negative reaction to Paramount’s idea for Lee Child’s creation, that is, casting Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, we have a new casting decision to announce for yet...
June 3 2011

The Art of the Heist: Caper-Lovers Will Never Be ‘Out of the Game’

If the detective mystery is the father of crime fiction and noir the alcoholic uncle, then the caper is the lovable nev’r-do-well cousin. Well, I take that back. Capers are doing quite well,...
May 15 2011

Bar Noir Trilogy Part 3: The (Richard) Starkness

Don't miss Part 1 and Part 2.   I walked into the bar one dreary Tuesday afternoon only to find Bill not at his usual spot behind the stick, but instead sitting at the...
April 24 2011

The Art of The Hunter: Parker Meets Don Draper

Can you imagine Don Draper, from AMC’s Mad Men, as a cold-blooded killer? No? Well, I can’t either, but Jon Hamm’s character and that of Darwyn Cooke’s Parker could...