Introduction to the article in The Getaway Car, by Levi Stahl
Westlake wrote this for the third issue of Ed McBain’s Mystery Book in 1961. Westlake would later use this title for the twenty-first Parker novel, and in an interview he explained, “Sometimes the title is the only seed needed. Breakout came about when I realized that, in all these years, Parker had never been jailed except once before the first book. Get him arrested and watch how he handled it.” To no one’s surprise, he handled it better than a lot of the characters Westlake describes below.