Dan Schwent's Reviews > The Hook

The Hook by Donald E. Westlake
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Mar 13, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: crime-and-mystery, hardcase-writers, 2010, westlake

Bryce Proctor, a best-selling author, is going through a nasty bout of writer's block and an even nastier divorce. He runs into an old acquaintance, Wayne Prentice. Wayne is a good but low selling author who's burned through his latest pseudonym. Proctor makes Prentice an offer he can't refuse: Let Proctor put his name on Prentice's newest book and they'll split the profits fifty-fifty. The only condition: Proctor's soon to be ex-wife must die...

How's that for a Hook? Westlake pours on the psychological suspense in this one and it shows the depth of his skills. The story takes a Hitchcockian turn almost from the get-go. Once the deed occurs, Proctor descends into madness and Prentice winds up usurping parts of Proctor's life, including his apartment. I saw the ending coming but it was still a good one. The role reversal and the contrasting of each man's reaction to Proctor's wife's death was the highpoint of the book.

Donald Westlake was quite a writer and I think more people will realize this in the next few years. The Hook is a short but powerful book and I highly recommend it. It's now my second favorite story about the publishing industry, the first being Bestsellers, Guaranteed by Joe Lansdale.
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Reading Progress

03/30/2010 page 1
0.35%
04/01/2010 page 134
46.53% "awesome so far"
12/30/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Shovelmonkey1 (new)

Shovelmonkey1 Still loving your punchy synopsis reviews! I like a goodreader who gets straight to the point.


message 2: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Shovelmonkey1 wrote: "Still loving your punchy synopsis reviews! I like a goodreader who gets straight to the point."

Thanks. I pretend I'm writing the bit on the back cover when I do the synopsis.


message 3: by Shovelmonkey1 (new)

Shovelmonkey1 It works- it does! You should get a job doing this.. if this is not your job already.


message 4: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Shovelmonkey1 wrote: "It works- it does! You should get a job doing this.. if this is not your job already."

I'd rather write the middles but the back cover of books would be fun to write too.


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