The award-winning mystery writer died from a heart attack on Dec. 31 at the age of 75. Westlake wrote more than 100 novels and numerous screenplays, including the Academy Award-nominated screenplay for The Grifters.
Mystery writer Donald Westlake has written 70 novels and screenplays (including "The Grifters" and "The Stepfather"). He is known for his novels which combine laughs with thrills, and which show equally incompetent criminals and law enforcement. His recurring characters include a bungling burglar named John Dortmunder, and a gun-for-hire named Parker. Westlake has also written novels that parody the world of publishing and supermarket tabloids. His latest novel is a crime novel about downsizing, "The Ax" (Mysterious Press/Warner Books)
Novelist Donald Westlake has written everything, from confession stories to westerns to science fiction. But he's found the most success with his mystery and crime stories. He wrote a series of novels under the name Richard Stark featuring an emotionless criminal named Parker; his newest book, Trust Me on This, is a humorous tale of a tabloid journalist.