Sonny asked about The Red Right Hand. I once saw Donald E Westlake interviewed at the Smithsonian Institution by Michael Dirda. He was asked (I think in the question from the audience period, not by Dirda) what he thought was the "perfect mystery" novel. He said there was no such thing, however, The Red Right Hand was his favorite. Of course, that sent me running for it and I easily found a used copy of a reprint. I enjoyed it, thought it was good, but not great, nowhere near most of Westlake's own work, for instance. Now I know there are people on this list who like it a lot more than I do (it's come up before, check the archives), but I have a feeling Westlake might have read it at a formative time in his mystery reading and his high estimation may be partially based on nostalgia.
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