In Donald E. Westlake's classic caper novels, the bad get better, the good slide a bit, and Lord help anyone caught between a thief named John Dortmunder and the current object of his attention.
However, being caught red-handed is inevitable in Dortmunder's next production, when a TV producer convinces this thief and his merry gang to do a reality show that captures their next score. The producer guarantees to find a way to keep the show from being used in evidence against them. They're dubious, but the pay is good, so they take him up on his offer.
A mock-up of the OJ bar is built in a warehouse down on . The ground floor of that building is a big open space jumbled with vehicles used in TV world, everything from a news truck and a fire engine to a hansom cab (without the horse).
As the gang plans their next move with the cameras rolling, Dortmunder and Kelp sneak onto the roof of their new studio to organize a private enterprise. It will take an ingenious plan to outwit viewers glued to their television sets, but Dortmunder is nothing if not persistent, and he's determined to end this shoot with money in his pockets.
The late Donald Westlake's final crime caper features his bungling crook, John Dortmunder.Get RealDonald E. Westlake. Grand Central, (288p) A reality-show company aptly titled Get Real recruits the delightfully understated John Dortmunder and his merry men for a heist in this clever Dortmunder novel (after What's So Funny?), a worthy final word from Westlake (1933 2008). The producer of the prospective series, Doug Fairkeep, reveals himself to be both cynical and na ve, a combination that makes him an excellent foil for the guys. Naturally, the gang has to make this gig pay more than what's offered, as much for the fun of it as for the extra cash. While Get Real helps them map out a "real" robbery, the boys are mapping out a real robbery of some of the company's "hidden assets." The thinking is that Get Real can hardly come after them to retrieve cash that it can't admit that it has. The game plan changes nearly hourly, and the outcome is anything but certain. The assorted idiosyncrasies of the group's members and the interactions among them will rouse chuckles from even jaded readers.