When noted junkie Billy-Billy Cantell arrives at the door of career criminal Clay alleging he’s being framed for murder, Clay begrudgingly agrees to take him in. After the police arrive and interview Clay on Billy-Billy’s whereabouts, Clay discovers Billy-Billy is nowhere to be found. Clay reaches out to his employer for direction and is told to do everything within his power to keep Billy-Billy safe. Knowing Billy-Billy couldn’t hurt a fly, can Clay track him down and clear his name?
After having finished Adam Higginbotham’s MIDNIGHT IN CHERNOBYL, I was looking for something a little less traumatizing. So, a standalone Hardcase Crime novel that clocked in just over two hundred pages seemed like a good idea.
I don’t want this to sound like I’m slagging the book because I did like it, but Donald Westlake’s The Cutie is the perfect forgettable read. This is like grabbing a burger and fries at your favorite fast food joint. It’s quick, satisfying and tasty. But unlike the assembly line nature of the fast food industry, Westlake is putting in the work of a chef with red herrings, misdirection and twists galore.
Donald Westlake’s THE CUTIE is as hard-boiled as they come.