361 by Donald Westlake

361Westlake, who also writes under the name Richard Stark, is one of my favorite crime authors, mostly for his ability to weave realism into a methodical caper.

Nothing is on the page that shouldn’t be there, and the process is very step-by-step, whether it’s a carefully planned out heist or in the case of 361, revenge.

361 was interesting in that it flowed differently than most of his other novels. This book is more about self discovery. When protagonist Ray Kelly returns home, he narrowly survives when he and his father are gunned down in a drive-by shooting.

Kelly then sets off for literal eye-for-an-eye vengeance. This former airman doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty, unlike his brother, and he’s not easily fooled.

A fast read and an engrossing shoot-em-up novel.

Reviewed by JP

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