Kemper's Reviews > The Cutie

The Cutie by Donald E. Westlake
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's review
May 04, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: crime-mystery, hard-case-crime

I really liked this one. May be a contender for my favorite HCC title so far. And it also may have my vote for favorite cover.

Mysteries where the criminals are acting as the detectives always appeal to me for some reason so I got a kick out of Clay's efforts to track down 'the cutie' who killed Mavis and framed Billy-Billy.

Kind of like Killing Castro with Block, you can tell that this is a superior writer doing some early work and discovering what works for him. Westlake kept this a hardboiled mystery, but added enough humor to make it fun.

I liked the way he portrayed Clay, also. Most crime stories with a criminal as the hero, or anti-hero, feel the need to make a point about how the main character really hates his job and is only doing it because of some kind of outside circumstances. Westlake makes the point several times that Clay actually enjoys what he does. He likes the nature of the work and the power he wields because of it. The subplot with him trying to deal with his girlfriend is a nice way to show how he really likes his criminal lifestyle.
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