Whether you knew him as Tucker Coe, Curt Clark, Samuel Holt, Timothy J. Culver, J. Morgan Cunningham, Judson Jack Carmichael–or Richard Stark–you’ve probably read something by hard-boiled crime novelist and mystery writer Donald E. Westlake. His most famous of these were probably his Parker novels, written under the pen name Richard Stark. Westlake passed away eight years ago, but after more than 100 novels have hit the bookstores over the decades yet another as-yet unpublished Westlake novel will be released next year.
True to form as the latest groundbreaking imprint for true crime fans, Titan Books’ Hard Case Crime will be releasing Westlake’s Forever and a Death next year. Aficionados of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels and all the movie adaptations should take note. Forever and a Death was actually the title of a “what if” of sorts. Westlake submitted a story with this title (as well as alternate titles Dragonsteeth, Never Look Back, Nobody Dies, and On Borrowed Time) as a possible script for the movie that would have been the sequel to Goldeneye.
It turns out Eon Productions rejected the story so Westlake rewrote the story, swapping out the name James Bond. That novel is carrying a cover similar to all the other exceptional Hard Case Crime retro-style poster artwork covers we’ve seen so far (J.K. Rowling has even called the Hard Case Crime series design “stunning”). The cover for Forever and a Death was painted by artist Paul Mann. And it looks like it would fit in with the exquisite Richie Fahey and Roseanne Serra cover art that graced the line of 14 paperback Bond novels for Fleming’s centenary celebration back in 2008, like these:
Here is the Hard Case Crime description of Westlake’s book:
Two decades ago, the producers of the James Bond movies hired legendary crime novelist Donald E. Westlake to come up with a story for the next Bond film. The plot Westlake dreamed up—about a British businessman seeking to destroy Hong Kong after being kicked out when the island was returned to Chinese sovereignty—had all the action and excitement, the danger and the sex appeal, of a classic Bond film—but for whatever reason, the Bond folks decided not to use it. Never one to let a good story go to waste, Westlake wrote a novel based on the premise instead—but then never published the novel either!
Hard Case Crime is proud to give that novel, FOREVER AND A DEATH, its first publication ever, and to give fans their first taste of the Westlake-scripted Bond movie that might have been.
Want to read an excerpt from Westlake’s Forever and a Death? Check it out here.
Forever and a Death is expected to be released in 2017, and we’ll be reviewing it here at borg.com.