Books Magazine

Double Feature by Donald E. Westlake

By Pamelascott
The movie star and the movie critic - how far would they go to keep their secrets buried? DOUBLE FEATURE contains two classic Donald E. Westlake novellas, A Travesty and Ordo


In New York City, a movie critic has just murdered his girlfriend - well, one of his girlfriends (not to be confused with his wife). Will the unlikely crime-solving partnership he forms with the investigating police detective keep him from the film noir ending he deserves?

On the opposite coast, movie star Dawn Devayne - the hottest It Girl in Hollywood - gets a visit from a Navy sailor who says he knew her when she was just ordinary Estelle Anlic of San Diego. Now she's a big star who's put her past behind her. But secrets have a way of not staying buried...

These two short novels, one hilarious and one heart-breaking, are two of the best works Westlake ever wrote. And fittingly, both became movies - one starring Jack Ryan's Marie Josée Croze, and one starring Fargo's William H. Macy and Desperate Housewives' Felicity Huffman.

"A book by this guy is cause for happiness" - Stephen King


[Well, she was dead, and there was no use crying over spilt milk]


(@HardCaseCrime, 4 February 2010, 256 pages, ebook, copy from @HardCaseCrime and voluntarily reviewed)



I've read a few books by Westlake and have tended to enjoy them. Double Feature is no exception. This book is made up of two novellas which are very loosely connected as they deal with similar themes, crimes within the movie industry. The first novella, Travesty is the longest and takes up 70% of the book. This novella is comic genius and I found in incredibly funny. A film critic kills his lover and unfortunately a PI works out what's gone on and blackmails him. The novella descends into a face as he struggles to find the blackmail money. The second novella, Orly is much short and much weaker. It's not really a crime story but deals with how fame and fortune can change people. I thought this was just okay. Double Feature is worth reading for Travesty alone.

Double Feature Donald Westlake

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