I wrote at the end of last year about lost spy novels by famous authors. Recently a new book came to light that I am extremely excited for and wanted to make sure readers knew about.
Westlake was a prolific author and has the distinction of creating two iconic crime fiction characters. The first is the Parker series which he wrote under the name Richard Stark. Parker is a hardboiled thief whose stories have been adapted to film numerous times. The second series was Dortmunder. The Dortmunder series was almost the flip side of the Parker with these novels being more comedic capers.
Westlake was tapped by Bond producers to work on developing the story for one of the Pierce Brosnan Bond movies. The scripts he came up with were never used but never being one to let his hard work go to waste tweaked his script into novel form with a non-Bond protagonist. The result was Forever and a Death and once completed, for whatever reason, it sat in his file cabinet.
Westlake died in 2010, and this novel has been pulled from the archives. Hard Case Crime, a wonderful publisher of hard boiled novels, has announced they will be releasing the book in June 2017. Read more at Double O Section and BirthMoviesDeath.
This is a great piece of Bond history. I’m sure some of the die hard Bond fans could come up with something else but the only thing I see topping this is a release of the drafts Len Deighton wrote for potential Bond films.