NOBODY'S PERFECT by Donald E. Westlake


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Having ventured into some murky but intriguing territory in Enough/some months back (p. 61), Westlake now scampers back to the safest ground of all--heistland, where Manhattan's hopeless Dortmunder Gang (Hot Rock, Bank Shot) again proves to he implausibly but adorably ill-starred. Hired by insurance-scamming art collector Arnold Chauncey to snatch (and then return or else) a $400,000 painting, the querulous fivesome loses the rolled-up canvas during the getaway--in the midst of a fracas with kilted conventioneers from Scotland. Their resourceful attempt to substitute a fake fails, but by then the original has surfaced--at London's Parkeby-South auction gallery, now billed as the heirloomic property of a lucky Scotsman called Macdough. So London it is, for a slapstick break-in--involving an out-of-control cherry-picking vehicle--that seems, like everything else here, tailorèd more for screen adaptation than for readers. Still, when other caperers are likely to spend 300 pages maneuvering laboriously through one stolid job, it's a swift pleasure to watch Westlake short-hand his jocular way through no fewer than three.

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1977
Publisher: Evans