* Put a Lid on It, Donald E. Westlake's most recent novel, was published in Mysterious Press hardcover in 4/02. It will be published in mass market paperback in 3/03 to tie in with the hardcover release of MONEY FOR NOTHING.*Westlake's critically acclaimed The Hook (Mysterious Press hardcover, 3/00) won a "Book World Rave" for 2000 in the Washington Post Book World and has over 90,000 hardcover and paperback copies in print combined. The Ax (Mysterious Press, 1997) reached #9 on the Los Angeles Times bestseller list, hit the New York Times business best-seller list, and has over 146,000 copies in hardcover and paperback print combined.* Westlake's novels have a history of Hollywood success: Mel Gibson's Payback was the #3 money earner of the spring 1999 movie season, and What's the Worst That Could Happen? earned more than $50 million at the box office. Films based on four of his novels are in development.
Prolific MWA Grand Master Westlake's latest novel has neither the engaging characters of his Dortmunder series nor the comic zing of his previous stand-alone, Put a Lid On It (2002), but it does offer an entertaining answer to the timeless debate over whether anything in life is ever truly free. Josh Redmont, a struggling New York office temp, receives a $1,000 check in the mail from United States Agent, a firm he's never heard of and, despite his best attempts, is unable to contact. He decides to deposit the check, and it clears. So begins the biggest mistake of his life, as checks arrive each month for the next seven years, seemingly a tax-free error in his favor. Then one day a man on the Fire Island ferry tells Redmont he's from U.S. Agent and states, "You are now active." By now a successful advertising executive with a wife and young son, Redmont finds his life turned upside-down as he's drawn into a terrorist plot to assassinate a visiting dignitary. His only hope is a disgruntled operative, Nimrin, who originally "recruited" him as a mole or sleeper agent without his knowledge. With time running out, Redmont must find two other moles recruited by Nimrin and turn the tables on the terrorists. Westlake creates a fascinating scenario, yet fails to fully develop Redmont and his fellow players. Some of the lesser characters are often more interesting than Redmont, who for all his charm and wit still comes across as a rather dull yuppie. Mystery Guild Featured Alternate. (Apr. 26) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Grand Central Publishing
June 15, 2006
Money for Not
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