THE ROAD TO RUIN

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Dortmunder: Just say the name and fans of Westlake's series know what to expect. So much so that perhaps the word should be in the dictionary: noun; a zany account of a gang of hapless thieves whose seemingly surefire plans to carry out swindles more often than not go awry.

This time, Dortmunder and his cohorts conspire to steal an antique car collection. They've found a way to infiltrate the owner's household, so making off with the cars will be a piece of cake. But when Dortmunder and company are involved, things are bound to go wrong. In this case, the car collector has a lot of enemies, and some are getting in the gang's way. Thievery is tough to pull off in a crowd.

Perhaps the king of the caper novel, Westlake doesn't disappoint with his latest. Again, his writing is second to none, and his plot bursts with hilarious situations and witty, laugh-out-loud dialogue. Westlake sure knows how to tell a dortmunder, and we readers are the lucky beneficiaries. (May, 342 pp., $25.00)
Reviewed by: 
Jo Peters