Monday, February 02, 2009

09.04 I Know A Trick Worth Two Of That by Samuel Holt

I Know A Trick Worth Two Of That (1986) by Samuel Holt (Donald Westlake)
Hardcover, Tor, 288 p.

This year is, of course, the first year where we are not going to be able to get any new writing from Donald Westlake. In tribute to him I have changed up the look of the blog for the year and I am going to make an attempt to read some of his many titlaes that I have never read before.

Between 1986 and 1989 Westlake published 4 novels under the name Samuel Holt. Last year I reviewed this first of these, One Of Us Is Wrong and I recently found the second, I Know A Trick Worth Two Of That.

Like the first book, the titular hero is Sam Holt, ex-cop and ex-actor. Sam fell into a part as the lead for a popular TV series called PACKARD for five years and now after that series has ended he is living the easy life. A place in Hollywood, a house in NY, girlfriends on both coasts and a surly manservant are the accouterments of Sam Holt's life.

This book is perhaps not quite so preposterous as the one I reviewed earlier but I'd say it is also not quite as good. An old friend on the run has asked Sam to give him a place to stay for awhile. After a few days an already scheduled house party takes place at Sams pad and the friend turns up dead in a locked bathroom. Sam, while diplomatically investigating his friends, must find out who killed his buddy and perhaps solve the mystery of who was following him.

Not the best Westlake effort I have read mostly due to the bowtie ending however as always an entertaining author to read.


Olman Feelyus said...

These Samuel Holt books sound a bit like Richard Stark's two Grofield novels. They were a side foray from the Parker universe following around one of his accomplices who did summer stock theatre when he wasn't running heists. They also kind of walked the line between Dortmunder and Parker and were okay but didn't quite satisfy the same way those two extremes do. There are other similarities, as the Grofiled ones tend to by mysteries and he is also in the biz (though on stage, not tv and not retired).

Buzby said...

I commend your tributary efforts! It is too bad that this novel wasn't as great as the others.