BAD NEWS by Donald Westlake
Mysterious Press - April 2001
ISBN: 089296717X - Hardcover
Mystery - Explicit content

Reviewed by Nancy Mehl for
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John Dortmunder is back after a five year absence. A career criminal with time on his hands needs something to do. A burglary at a local department store goes wrong and Dortmunder's escape plan is to pretend to be an unlucky shopper caught inside the store after hours. He makes his escape on pure moxy, but now must find a way to replace the booty his mistake cost him. Enter his friend Andy Kelp. Andy has hooked up with a decidedly shady character named Fitzroy Guilderpost. Guilderpost's plan? To replace the body of a long dead Indian named Joseph Redcorn with the body of an associate's grandfather. If his partner in this bizarre crime, Little Feather, can prove that the person resting in the grave is her relative, she will be able to claim part of a casino - and her colleagues in crime will walk away with their share of a sizable fortune.

But Dortmunder doesn't trust the slippery Guilderpost - and finds a way to hedge his bets - and give himself a bigger piece of the pie. His attempts to control the operation aren't helped by a body that seems to have a mind of its own.

Donald Westlake offers an often hilarious and intriguing romp inside the criminal life. BAD NEWS is a roller-coaster ride of deceit and silliness. Although a little slow in the beginning, the ride picks up and moves the reader along with its cast of zany characters. This is a fun book - by a super author.


Nancy Mehl is the author of Graven Images and Sinner's Song.

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