Author Rating: A+

Crime thrillers written by Donald E. Westlake under the pseudonym “Tucker Coe.”

Kinds of Love, Kinds of Death (Read 3/26/08)

Published in 1966, a 2000 paperback re-release includes a terrific introduction by Donald E. Westlake wherein he provides background on what he was up to with his use of pseudonyms and his explorations and influences. Essentially, he was writing at such a volume that it was necessary to publish under different names in order to not over-saturate the market.

That said, this crime novel is another example of Westlake’s excellent control of pacing, description and story line. He is spare but rich and maintains strong coherence and plausibility.

Kinds of Love, Kinds of Death is the first of five involving the protagonist Mitchell Tobin, a former NY cop busted from the force when his partner was killed while Tobin was dallying during working hours and extra-maritally with the girlfriend of a criminal he helped arrest and put away for an extended prison stay. Tobin is hired by a mob guy to find out who killed his mistress.

As Westlake points out in his introduction, this was somewhat of a departure in that it is more in the nature of a mystery rather than a crime novel.