Tony's Reviews > The Road To Ruin

The Road To Ruin by Donald E. Westlake
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's review

it was ok
bookshelves: series, 2013, fiction, caper, reviewed

It's a toss-up between this and Drowned Hopes for which has been the worst in the series so far. Drowned Hopes was overlong, often dull, and sometimes painful, but it at least felt like a Dortmunder. This one reads much more like one of those "continue the franchise" sequels, written after the original author's death by someone with enough acquaintance with what has come before to seem right on the surface, but insufficient understanding to really have it fit in.

The main characters are all here, but largely only in spirit. Much more of the book is taken up with two other groups who are also out to get the mark, and a few other minor characters who seem like they might turn out to be more important, but generally aren't — and everyone is just too thinly sketched, and often seemingly unfinished (view spoiler).

More problematically, there simply isn't enough of a caper, with little of the trademark snakes/chutes-and-ladders feel of the rest of the series. (view spoiler)

Assuming this wasn't ghosted by someone else, I can only hope that Westlake was simply distracted by something else when writing this, or was pushed into releasing it before it was quite ready … rather than a portent of the remainder of the series.

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Reading Progress

November 23, 2013 – Started Reading
November 24, 2013 – Shelved
November 24, 2013 – Shelved as: series
November 24, 2013 – Finished Reading
January 5, 2014 – Shelved as: 2013
January 5, 2014 – Shelved as: fiction
January 5, 2014 – Shelved as: caper
September 9, 2014 – Shelved as: reviewed

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