Joe Gores' Interface and Donald Westlake. Hammett, too
Docker is as ruthless as Parker, as dedicated to the proposition that work exists to be done, not fretted over. Further, a lengthy mid-novel scene in which Docker evades a string of pursuers at an airport, leaving them much worse off than when they started, reminded me of Parker in Slayground.
Finally, Gores and Westlake were friends who resorted to the delightful game of writing a chapter that included both authors' characters and using the resulting chapter in a novel by each author (Westlake's Drowned Hopes, Gores' 32 Cadillacs.)
Docker's and Parker's dedication to their dark tasks may ultimately stem from Dashiell Hammett, whose Sam Spade and Continental Op did what they had to do. Gores was among the most dedicated and accomplished of Hammettians; his novels include a prequel to The Maltese Falcon (Spade & Archer) and Hammett, in which Hammett resumes his role as a real-life detective. And Westlake, speaking of the authors who shaped his work, once told an interviewer that "For early influences we have to start, and almost end, with Hammett."
I'll be back with more, on Interface's ending. For now, though, if you like Hammett and you like Westlake, you'll like Interface. And if don't like Hammett and Westlake, like the Monticello Man said, "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just."
© Peter Rozovsky 2013