Title: The Ax.
Publisher: The Mysterious Press , New York
Publication Date: 1997
Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: 1st Edition
Small 4to. Burgundy paper over boards with gilt spine lettering, pictorial dust jacket. 273pp. Fine/fine. Superb, tight first edition about this laid-off paper company executive gone amuck, with a fine red-edged bookplate on the half-title page signed large and bold by Westlake (1933-2007) in black ballpoint. Bookseller Inventory # 37659
Synopsis: The multi-award-winning, widely-acclaimed mystery master Donald E. Westlake delivers a masterpiece with this brilliant, laser-sharp tale of the deadly consequences of corporate downsizing.
Burke Devore is a middle-aged manager at a paper company when the cost-cutting ax falls, and he is laid off. Eighteen months later and still unemployed, he puts a new spin on his job search -- with agonizing care, Devore finds the seven men in the surrounding area who could take the job that rightfully should be his, and systematically kills them. Transforming himself from mild-mannered middle manager to ruthless murderer, he discovers skills ne never knew ne had -- and that come to him far too easily.
Review: Donald E. Westlake, justly named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, has written everything from comic capers (the Dortmunder series) to the darker adventures of ace criminal Parker during his long career. But he's never come up with anything scarier or more timely than this story about a downsized executive who decides to kill off the competition. Burke Devore could be your neighbor: a laid-off paper company manager watching his life and family fall apart as he tries desperately to get a job. The plan he finally comes up with involves murdering seven men very much like himself, and Westlake's most impressive achievement is to make the serial killings understandable if in no way justified. Selected titles from Westlake's vast list of books available in paperback include: Baby, Would I Lie?, The Fugitive Pigeon, Pity Him Afterwards, and Trust Me on This.
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