Sunday, July 19, 2009

An Unpublished Westlake and Burying the Lede

Good news for those who thought the latest Dortmunder novel was going to be the late Donald Westlake's last published novel. In April, after taking a three month hiatus, Hard Case Crime, will return with Memory, Westlake's final novel.

From the desription:

It's a beautifully written, heartbreaking story about a man who suffers an assault (after being caught in bed with another man's wife) and wakes up in a hospital bed suffering from a peculiar sort of brain damage that doesn't make him unable to function but does make it hard for him to form new memories or retain old ones. Stuck far from home (and struggling even to remember where home used to be), paranoid about the attentions of the police, and desperate to reconstruct his lost life, Paul Cole sets out on an extraordinary private investigation: a missing persons case in which he himself is the missing person.

And I can't help but feel that the latest Hard Case newsletter has sort of buried the lede. Down toward the bottom, after announcing Westlake's book and teasing the still unnamed second December title, Ardai announces that Hard Case is going to go to bimonthly publication instead of monthly. He tries to spin, saying it will provide time to drum up more interest and allow readers to get to the books, but the message between the lines is, "If you like these books buy more of them. Times are tough all around, but they're still half the price of movie ticket."

1 comment:

Frank Loose said...

Good point. I for one am indebted to HCC for introducing me to the treasure of books written back in the 50s and 60s. I read Charles Williams' A Touch of Death, an early HCC release, and went on to discover Day Keene, Harry Whittington, Bruno Fisher, and many other terrific writers long out of print. Publishers like Hard Case and Stark House have a tough road, with what i imagine is a small profit margin. All lovers of crime writing need to support their efforts. Thanks for the post.