The Ax by Donald E. Westlake

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The multi-award-winning, widely-acclaimed mystery master Donald E. Westlake delivers a masterpiece with this brilliant, laser-sharp tale of the deadly consequences of corporate downsizing.

Burke Devore is a middle-aged manager at a paper company when the cost-cutting ax falls, and he is laid off. Eighteen months later and still unemployed, he puts a new spin on his job search -- with agonizing care, Devore finds the seven men in the surrounding area who could take the job that rightfully should be his, and systematically kills them. Transforming himself from mild-mannered middle manager to ruthless murderer, he discovers skills ne never knew ne had -- and that come to him far too easily.

About Donald E. Westlake

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Darwyn Cooke is an Eisner Award-winning comic book writer, artist, cartoonist and animator, known for his work on the comic books CATWOMAN, DC: THE NEW FRONTIER, THE SPIRIT and Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter. Amanda Conner started out in comics after working as an illustrator for New York ad agencies. However, loving comic books and cartooning the most, Amanda found work at Archie, Marvel and Claypool Comics early in her career. She's probably best known for her work on Vampirella for Harris Comics, as well as Painkiller Jane, CODENAME KNOCKOUT, BIRDS OF PREY, and the creator-owned books Gatecrasher and The Pro (with Jimmy Palmiotti and Garth Ennis).
Published April 11, 2001 by Mysterious Press. 288 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Horror. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Ax

Kirkus Reviews

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Westlake, the unrivaled master of the formula caper comedy (What's the Worst That Could Happen?, 1996, etc.), rises effortlessly to the challenge of varying these executions, keeping up the tension--even though you know (or think you know) exactly what's going to happen every time--by interspersi...

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Publishers Weekly

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Not content quietly to abandon his decently prosperous existence, Devore searches out the ideal job at the ideal company and then identifies a half-dozen unemployed potential rivals for the spot and sets out to murder them one by one.

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Book Reporter

THE AX is a book about murder --- not crazed psychotic murder, but cold-blooded, intelligent murder --- survival of the fittest murder.

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The Sydney Morning Herald

Bruno, his wife, Marlene (Karin Viard), and their two teenage children live in a comfortable, sprawling house in a tree-lined street, where they're just hanging on by means of Bruno's severance pay and Marlene's two jobs.

May 31 2006 | Read Full Review of The Ax

The Age

Then again, Costa-Gavras clearly knows the value of restraint and that, for all his misdeeds, Bruno is neither evil nor violent.

Jun 02 2006 | Read Full Review of The Ax

ABC Perth

Darkly funny when it needs to be, touching in the little domestic island of the Davert family, this is cool and elegant filmmaking with a real heart - and more than a little intellectual muscle as well.

Jul 20 2006 | Read Full Review of The Ax

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