Book Review of The Ax

The Ax
The Ax
Author: Donald E. Westlake
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1


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".