Don't Ask

Don't Ask



The Pequod Review:

Don't Ask is the eighth Dortmunder book and it's another solid one. The gang is hired by an emerging nation to break into the US embassy of a rival country and steal a sacred relic, the possession of which will help ensure the nation’s admission to the UN. Donald Westlake remains a great writer, with slyly intelligent prose:

The Queens-Brooklyn side of the East River is very different from the Manhattan side, Manhattan being completely residential along that shore, tumbled blocks of apartment buildings that advertise river views but actually offer industrial views of Brooklyn and Queens: factories, warehouses, storage yards, junkyards, piers for barges and tugs and small cargo vessels, all the vast nethers of a busy metropolis laid out like a picture in a pop-up book for the aesthetic viewing pleasure of rich Manhattanites. Of course, these days rich Manhattanites tend to be people for whom such a view is a step up from the oil refineries and sand of home, so it's ok. And it was into this Dickensian warren of riverside grunge that Stan Murch steered their trusty little motorboat, near to where he'd stashed the getaway car, just north of Newtown Creek, that industrially useful channel of near-water that forms the Brooklyn-Queens line. Here they could be alone and unnoticed.