Re your comment below:
"The first 'coming off Hammett' novel--and the first novel published
under his own name--was The Mercenaries."
And THE MERCENARIES, a chilling first-person character study of an unabashedly unrepentant Organized Crime figure, was also the first Westlake work to earn him an Edgar nomination, in the First Mystery Novel category.
I'm not absolutely sure about this, but I think Westlake may be the recipient of the most Edgar nominations of any author.
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