Donald Westlake is an amazing writer. In this book, a middle manager in a factory loses his job and can't seem to find another one. In total desperation, he hits upon an idea that will result in murder most foul. This is a clever, frightening, believable story.
Story of a good man with twenty-five loyal service to a local paper mill who suddenly finds himself unemployed, and slips over a bad edge...
In The Ax, Donald Westlake's protagonist Burke Devore philosophizes thusly: Every era and every nation has its own characteristic morality. There was the Age of Reason, the Work Ethic, and so on. Honor and even Grace have taken the forefront in society's moral code in their time. Currently government leaders and corporate CEOs, he points out, have invoked the principle of the end justifying the means, and so Devore takes this ethic to heart. He calmly, deliberately, and quite rationally details for us the means he feels he must employ to take care of his family, be a productive part of society, put his skills to use without being a burden to the taxpayers. Westlake's genius is that the reader will have a very difficult time, in spite of the means he employs, disagreeing with Devore. The NYT book review nailed it when they dubbed this tale "engrossing and relentless and all too plausible".
Wonderfull black humor on the curren job market
Donald Westlake is one of the all-time best, hands down!
It got may attention. The casualness of how he carries out his plans.His desparateness.
Kind of a different story ... man laid off from work ... and how he takes care of his competition gives new meaning to 'going postal'.
I've read several of the author's books over the years, and enjoyed them all, but none as much as this one. Very original plot-line, and plenty of suspense.