DROWNED HOPES by Donald E. Westlake


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Dortmunder's seventh hapless adventure, this time involving Kemp, May, and the rest of the gang in ex-cellmate Tom Jimson's plans to retrieve the $750,000 he buried 25 years ago, before he went to the slammer, in upstate Putkin's Corners. The problem? In the intervening years, the cache site has become part of the Vilburgtown Reservoir. With the help of Wally the computer whiz, and Doug the dive instructor, Dortmunder, as you might expect, almost drowns--several times--and almost loses part of an ear to a codger Jimson double-crossed years back. He's also one-upped by May and Murch's mom, as well as hassled by Jimson's former girlfriend, his illegitimate daughter, and, of course, the ornery Jimson himself, before the loot surfaces--though not in Dortmunder's hands. Less inventive than peak-form Westlake, who, here, plugs one friend's books (journeyman author Justin Scott) and another friend's character (Joe Gores'), while bumbling along with a tired plot that reads like a TV-pilot reject. Some funny bits, but not enough to fill 400+ pages.

Pub Date: April 9th, 1990
Publisher: Mysterious Press--dist. by Ballantine