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Cops and Robbers

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  237 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Meet Tom and Joe. They've got homes on Long Island and a dream: to pull off the perfect heist. Tom and Joe also have badges, uniforms and guns, just like the rest of the New York City police force! These two shining examples of New York's Finest don't care what they steal or how, as long as it comes out to 2 million dollars. But they get involved with the Mob and find out ...more
Paperback, Reprint; U.S. paperback Edition, 156 pages
Published April 1st 1993 by Mysterious Press (first published 1972)
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May 11, 2012 Checkman rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Westlake and capers
Shelves: humor, beach-read, crime
My first Westlake novel. I've been told by readers who are fans that this isn't one of his better works. Evidently it began life as a script (I've seen the movie and it isn't too bad) and Westlake novelized it. However being new to his novels this isn't that bad of a read. I see from looking at his entry over on the Internet Movie Database (imdb) Mr. Westlake did a lot of (uncredited) work on scripts. I guess he would polish a script and give it that certain something that made him so popular.

Book Concierge

Tom and Joe are New York City policemen. They are also planning a grand heist that should net them two million dollars. But they have to outwit the Mob to keep the money and their lives.

This book doesn’t include the kind of zany antics that Westlake is known for in his comic crime capers, but there’s plenty of action, quite a few surprises and plot twists, and a great sense of time and place. The “heroes” may be crooked cops, but they do have certain standards, and they are very smart abo
Aug 16, 2009 Mark rated it really liked it
Continuing my one-Westlake-a-month project, for June we have COPS AND ROBBERS, published in the early '70's. Rhile definitely of its time, it is still in many ways timeless, as so many of Westlake's books seem to be. C&R falls halfway between serious heist novel and comic crime caper, as two Long Island cops hatch a scheme to make a boatload of money by ripping off a Mob boss. The scenes in a Wall Street financial firm, on the Upper West Side beat streets, out in the Long Island suburbs, and ...more
May 26, 2016 David rated it liked it
Two New York City cops decide to figure out a way to steal a million bucks for each of them. The narrative shifts among four points of view (two first-person and two third-person) without tremendous effect. I found the build-up to the crime, which deals more with psychology than logistics, to be slow, and the novel's ending betrays its origins as a screenplay. On the whole, Cops and Robbers was acceptable airplane entertainment, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who hasn't already read 30 be ...more
Dec 15, 2015 Slurpee67 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: caper fans
Brilliant crime caper w/ quirky characters determined to pull off a great heist. Amusing and entertaining.
Kipp Poe
Jul 21, 2015 Kipp Poe rated it really liked it
a fun read if two cops going against the law and performing a great capper if ripping off some high stakes bounds with plenty twist and insight if cop life
Mike (the Paladin)
Okay I'm going to open with an apology again. This book was recommended by a friend, a friend who obviously liked it, very much. I just could not like it, get into it or enjoy the subject matter. For me...that's for me, it barely escapes a 1 star rating. Sorry.

This is one of D. Westlake's "comic caper" reads. There's meant to be a certain amount of humor or lightheartedness. I won't give any spoilers in the open here so all I mention can be found in the synopsis or I'll hide it. So, the aforemen
Aaron Martz
Jan 18, 2016 Aaron Martz rated it it was ok
This isn't a comedy. It's labeled as one, but there aren't many laughs and it isn't set up for them. It's a pretty good story, if often told, about some underpaid cops, sick of their jobs, who decided to go crooked and pull a heist so they can retire to the Caribbean. They come up with a plan to rob a bank of ten million in bearer bonds then sell it to the mob for two million. They dress in their cop uniforms during the heist because of the added power it gives them, but from here on out, the tw ...more
Jun 11, 2014 Spiros rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those looking for a nifty caper
Forty years before Occupy, Westlake conceived of a caper that would burn both Wall Street and the Mob. Not vintage Westlake, to be sure, but very effective use of different narrative voices, and a revealing look at life in the Big Apple, 1972:

"At the corner of Amsterdam and 72nd is the Lucerne Hotel, one of the spots where the bar-flies live who hang out along Broadway. Broadway between 72nd and 79th streets is lined with those narrow little bars, and every one of them is the same; the same loud
Always nice to have a few old-timey paperbacks lying around to read while travelling -- what they used to actually call "pocket books" because they really could fit in a back pocket, and back in the day topped out at about $1.25.

This one was good but not great Westlake; a one-off heist story that's not as light as the Dortmunder books, but not as dark as the Parker series (which he wrote under the name Richard Stark).
I expected a better read because this story had a strange atmosphere,it wasn't hard-boiled or humorous.

Then i read it was written written expressly to be made into a movie and understood why it didnt have the usual Donald E.Westlake quality to it.
A decent story but not a book for any reader except the Westlake dedicated,completist fan.
Sam Reaves
Aug 17, 2012 Sam Reaves rated it liked it
You have to go back and re-read the classics sometimes. Nobody did caper novels or New York blue-collar better than Westlake. In this one, two frustrated cops go crooked and try to pull off a big heist. First published in 1972, the book is interesting among other things for its portrait of a declining, dysfunctional New York City in its worst days.
Denise M.
Sep 14, 2009 Denise M. marked it as to-read
AKA: Alan Marshall, Alan Marsh, James Blue, Ben Christopher, Edwin West, John B. Allan, Curt Clark, Tucker Coe, P.N. Castor, Timothy J. Culver, J. Morgan Cunningham, Samuel Holt, Judson Jack Carmichael, Richard Stark, Donald E. Westlake
Read 143 pages
Dec 16, 2010 Steve rated it it was ok
not my cup of tea.
not a dortmunder.
Stan Lanier
Somewhat early Westlake. For my money, Westlake, when not writing Parker, is always a hoot.
Mary Newcomb
It all started in a liquor store. And then Joe and Tom got a bright idea. In true Westlake fashion, they carried off the preposterous and somehow it seemed like the right thing to do!

Kathleen Meacham
May 01, 2015 Kathleen Meacham rated it did not like it
William Boyle
William Boyle rated it really liked it
Jul 25, 2012
Bruce DeSilva
Bruce DeSilva rated it really liked it
Aug 07, 2010
Greg Morrow
Greg Morrow rated it liked it
Mar 06, 2013
John rated it it was ok
Oct 27, 2014
Phoebe Matthews
Phoebe Matthews rated it it was amazing
Oct 27, 2008
Martin Scott Walsh
Martin Scott Walsh rated it liked it
Jan 24, 2016
Paul rated it it was ok
Jun 22, 2014
Bryan Smith
Bryan Smith rated it it was amazing
May 14, 2014
Kenneth rated it liked it
Feb 07, 2013
Craig Pittman
Craig Pittman rated it really liked it
Apr 22, 2011
Chris Puzak
Chris Puzak rated it really liked it
Mar 04, 2012
Aert rated it liked it
Feb 02, 2016
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Play Book Tag: Cops and Robbers / Donald E Westlake - 3*** 1 6 Jun 26, 2017 05:08AM  
  • Plunder Squad (Parker, #15)
  • The Red Right Hand
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  • Murder (Stanley Hastings #2)
  • The Burglar on the Prowl (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #10)
  • Pursuit
Donald E. Westlake (1933-2008) was one of the most prolific and talented authors of American crime fiction. He began his career in the late 1950's, churning out novels for pulp houses—often writing as many as four novels a year under various pseudonyms such as Richard Stark—but soon began publishing under his own name. His most well-known characters were John Dortmunder, an unlucky thief, and a ru ...more
More about Donald E. Westlake...

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