i am a huge fan of westlake. even the most brilliant writers must, however, suffer from the occasionally not-quite-up-to-the-usual-brilliance. this is westlake's.
if you're a fan, i would recommend it simply on the basis that having all the flavors of westlake can only be delightful, but if this is your first taste, i would recommend, for a start, any of the 'dortmunder' books and his 'parker' books, originally written under the pseudonym richard stark.
The story is about a plan to rip off a trainload of Idi Amin's coffee. Really remarkable: devastating portraits, a wealth of political and historical insights into the African continent, and a hell of a lot of fun!