Westlake vs Stark

An Interview



As detective and murder victim in The Maltese Herring, a Mystery Weekend story for Mohonk Mountain House.

DW: It seems your voice is well and truly back. Congratulations.

RS: I see you’re still grinding them out, too.

DW: Yes, well. The last time we chatted, there was a certain . . .hostility in the air. I hope we’re past that now.

RS: I’d been traveling.

DW: So I gathered. Would you say your latest Parker novel, BREAKOUT, is the most autobiographical so far?

RS:: No, I wouldn’t, and if you’re smart you won’t, either.

DW: You do seem to know quite a bit about crime and the criminal mind.

RS: I read the papers. The business section. You mostly read the funnies, I think.

DW: The greatest insights come from so-called comedy, I believe. But how do you manage to maintain absolutely no sense of humor year after year?

RS: No sense of humor? Don’t make me laugh.

DW: I wouldn’t even try. But speaking of humor, perhaps inadvertent, what did you think of PAYBACK, the Mel Gibson programmer based on Parker’s first outing, THE HUNTER?

RS: It was a remake. The first time, POINT BLANK, with Lee Marvin, I got paid. Also, it was a better picture.

DW: You didn’t get paid for PAYBACK?

RS: Ask me again what I know about the criminal mind.

DW: You must be a little shallow-pocketed at the moment. What’s next for you and Parker?

Ancram, NY

RS: Who wants to know? I like that watch.

DW: Thank you. Is there another outing for Parker com–

RS: I said, I like that watch.

DW: This interview is over.


© Donald Westlake 2002