Sunday, July 06, 2008
08.12 Killing Time by Donald Westlake
Killing Time (1961) by Donald Westlake
Pbk, Ballantine 181pp.
This is a sweet little thriller by Westlake that falls outside of his series books. The story takes place in a small town somewhere in upstate NY. The hero is the town's only private eye and he's been around for years. In all that time he has accumulated files on nearly every one and everything crooked that has ever happened in the town. When a reform group suddenly targets the town for cleaning up the PI's files become highly sought after and the bullets start flying.
This book, also released as The Operator, is a great example of early Westlake. I've heard it mentioned as his take on Red Harvest and I can see the similarities. The ending, in particular, is quite violent and nihilistic.
Posted by Jason L