Ray Kelly musters out of the air force and meets his father in New York City; on the drive upstate, Ray's dad is shot dead at the wheel. Now that's a first chapter! Recovering from his own injuries, Ray discovers that his brother Bill's wife has been killed, too. Someone is out to get the family, but why? Ray and Bill return to the city and start digging, finding some truly twisty answers. This tale of a revenge-obsessed son qualifies as a respectable rediscovery. Random House published a hardcover in 1962, and aside from a British paperback and a couple of translations, it's been out of print ever since. The title, 361, refers to the numbered entry in Roget's Thesaurus for "Destruction of life; violent death," which sounds like the title a pulp publisher picks when he has run out of ideas. But it's ironic, because this early effort (which hints at the humor Westlake would later develop) boasts the classic hard-boiled style: prose so clean it's like Hemingway threw away his thesaurus. Well worth an evening.
pretty good. Donald westlake tends to be pretty humerous at times. I don't read many crime stories but his I find pretty entertaining. This one is about a man out for revenge for his father's killer.