Re: RARA-AVIS: Plunder Road/Squad

From: Anders Engwall (
Date: 14 Nov 2000

Juri Nummelin:

> On Tue, 14 Nov 2000 wrote:
> > Juri, Westlake may have had Lionel White in mind when he wrote PLUNDER SQUAD.
> > He was certainly very familiar with White's work. I recall an MWA anthology
> > back in the 70s or early 80s that had a piece by Westlake that involved a
> > White novel. A gang (I think in Europe somewhere) used a White novel as a
> > plan for a caper. It worked beautifully but then, as Westlake gleefully
> > pointed out, "They ran out of book." Life continued beyond the point where
> > the book ended and they began to screw things up and were caught.
> They kidnapped a child of the Peugeot family. I don't remember which
> Lionel White that is, but the idea came from him: kidnap a baby, so he
> can't recognize you afterwards.

This sounds like "The Snatchers". Incidentally, when this was filmed as "The Night of the Following Day", the kidnap victim was an adult, albeit young, woman!

> I think Westlake was ordered to write a
> movie based on the incident, but the project went down and Westlake put
> the stuff into a non-existent Parker book that Dortmunder & Co. read in
> one novel. (The name? I remember only the translation's name!)

The Dortmunder book, if you were referring to that and not the non-existent Parker novel, is "Jimmy the Kid".

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