The Road to Ruin
Westlake's infamous gang of wayward thieves, led by the unlucky and unflagging John Dortmunder, have hatched another perfect plan. They're going to work for one of the most crooked men in the world - for the sole purpose of robbing him blind. The truth is, Monroe Hall can't find anyone to staff his sprawling, antique-laden Pennsylvania estate. For Dortmunder's crew, going to work for Monroe is like being kids let loose in a sweet shop until they make a sobering discovery: Munroe Hall has some deadly enemies out there. Now the pariah has vanished and the police are at the door. And everyone knows, whenever there's mischief in a mansion...the butler did it!
“Nobody does comic capers better than Westlake. This one unfolds with such cinematic energy that we don't so much read it as watch while the players race around the countryside and almost bang into each other. Sparkling droplets of Westlake wit abound: a fence named Honest Irving, a small Pennsylvania town named Shickshinny, a security guard named Mort Pessle and Dortmunder's gargantuan pal Tiny, who "didn't so much sit in an automobile as wear it." Almost everyone comes out at the end with dignity and limbs intact, but with no loot. The good news for readers is that Dortmunder is free to try again another day.”
- Publisher’s Weekly
“Can you believe John Dortmunder (see below) and his wayward cronies (Bad News, 2001, etc.) actually doing an honest day’s work and getting paid for it? … worthwhile if only to eavesdrop on the drinkers at the O.J. Bar & Grill as they resolve the issue of global warming.”