If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

July Interview Schedule:
7/3 Jean Stone A Vineyard Summer
7/10 Mark Bergin
7/17 Christin Brecher Murder's No Votive Confidence
7/24 Dianne Freeman A Ladies' Guide to Gossip
7/31 J. C. Kenney A Genuine Fix

Saturday Guest Bloggers: 7/6 V. M. Burns, 7/13 Joe Amiel,

WWK Satuday Bloggers: 7/20 Gloria Alden, 7/27 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology will be released on June 18th.

Congratulations to Margaret S. Hamilton for being a finalist in the Daphne Du Maurier contest. Margaret competes in the Unpublished/Mainstream mystery/suspense category.

Congratulations to Shari Randall for WINNING the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Her book, Curses, Boiled Again was published by St. Martin's last year. Read the interview about the book here. Yay, Shari!

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.

James M. Jackson extends the Seamus McCree series with the May 25th publication of #6, False Bottom.


Friday, October 19, 2018

Breakout by Richard Stark, A Review by Warren Bull

Breakout by Richard Stark, A Review by Warren Bull

Image by Carles Rabada at Upsplash

Like most people, I suppose, I have wondered what it would be like to have a secret identity. Batman poses as millionaire, Bruce Wayne, and Superman, pretends to be reporter Clark Kent.  Richard Stark is, of course, the pen name of Donald Westlake. Westlake wrote some of the funniest crime novels in existence. His characters show how uncommon common sense is with an amazing level of ineptitude. 
Richard Stark’s character, Parker, is the exact opposite. Parker is a master criminal with a steady girlfriend, Claire, but without any other ties in the world. He will work with a crew as long as he needs a crew and no longer. He is a professional at crime, unemotional, relentless, zeroed in on whatever needs to get done and God help you if you betray him.
Stark writes about Parker with an economy of language that echoes the intensity of the character. He starts many, if not all, of the Parker novels with “when,” and drops the reader into the midst of the action. Breakout starts with – When the alarm went off…  It is a botched warehouse robbery. The local getaway driver decided to break into an office in the warehouse, contrary to the carefully conceived plan. That set off an alarm, which alerted the police. The driver took off in the only vehicle so the rest of the crew had to run. Parker was spotted and ended up in jail.
For a master criminal, who stays anonymous and under the radar, this is a major problem. His fingerprints show up from an earlier time when he was incarcerated and had to kill a guard to escape. 
For Parker, the only solution is to break out of jail. The rest of the novel is a "how done it" Parker has to find men in jail who can help him escape, to find people outside who can help him flee the scene and to find a way to get back to where he started from. For added interest, Parker as part of recruiting a crew agreed to go on a local heist, which involves breaking into and then back out of a heavily guarded location.
Stark’s sparsely elegant prose is a joy to read. If I had a desire to get into the criminal world, Parker’s travails would convince me to stay out of it.
I give this book my highest recommendation.


Margaret Turkevich said...

on my list, Warren. Thanks for the fine recommendation.

Kait said...

Interesting - writing with economy of language is so difficult. Sounds like it will be a joy to read.

Gloria Alden said...

Warren, I'm looking forward to reading this, too.

KM Rockwood said...

Don Westlake is one of my favorite authors. I haven't been as fond of the Richard Stark novels but have read some of them.