Monday, November 19, 2012

Get Real

By Donald E. Westlake
John Dortmunder is the head of a criminal team. There's  Stan Murch, the driver, Andy Kelp, the locks and safe man, Tiny, the muscle, and the Kid, Judson, who is fairly new to the group and adds the youth perspective.
Murch's Mom, who drives a cab for a living, has made a connection with a reality TV show producer, Doug Fairkeep, who wants to do a reality show about a gang of criminals committing a crime. Stan's mom thinks the guys should sit down with the guy and see what he has to say.
Naturally, being career criminals, the last thing they want is to be filmed while committing crime. But the producer talks them into it, under certain conditions and restrictions. And the money he is promising is very,  good. Fairkeep takes the guys on a tour of his firm's building and they are quick to spot lots of opportunities for a little side work. Seems like something suspicious is going on and Dortmunder and friends think they can work it to their benefit, with the TV show money as a nice bonus. Of course, this being a Dortmunder story, nothing works out quite like envisioned.

Westlake takes a whack a reality TV and produces another fun and engrossing Dortmunder caper novel. This is the last Dortmunder novel, alas, as Donald Westlake died in 2008.  Unlike many successful writers as they get old, Westlake maintained the quality and verve of his earlier works. I have been reading Dortmunder stories for years now and I will greatly miss reading about the shenanigans of Dortmunder, Andy, Murch, Murch's Mom, Tiny,  new guy the Kid and Dortmunder's common law wife, May.

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