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Publisher's Summary

The men in the tan-and-cream Chrysler came with guns blazing. When Ray Kelly woke up in the hospital, it was a month later, he was missing an eye, and his father was dead. Then things started to get bad. From the mind of the incomparable Donald E. Westlake comes a devastating story of betrayal and revenge, an exploration of the limits of family loyalty and how far a man will go when everything he loves is taken from him.
©1962 Donald E. Westlake (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America

What listeners say about 361

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Numbers mean violence

Westlake will have you thinking this is some deep existential story that will keep you guessing. After all the title “361” when looked up in the right thesaurus will read “361. [Destruction of Life; Violent Death.] Killing., violence”. Then again once you get past the title, you know what’s up. This book is a straight forward revenge story. If it were made into a film in the 70’s, or 80’s, it would be a starring vehicle for Mel Gibson.

We follow Ray Kelly after he gets out of the Air Force and returns from Germany. He meets up with his dad on his first night home and are going to meet up with his brother Bill when they are attacked. Ray survives the assassination attempt. His father and his eye aren’t so lucky. Ray and his Bill strike out against the “syndicate”, and before they know it Kills wife and kid are killed, and the two of them are suddenly unintentionally and unknowingly embedded in the “syndicate” as they continue to seek justice.

They learn their father and mother used to be players in the mafia, which is what landed them in the violent precarious spot they find themselves. The car chases, fights, shootouts and threats all feel real. None of it ever quite gets to the point of sensationalism. With his blunt and straight forward gritty storytelling Westlake has created a page turner that is difficult to put down.

Added bonus, it has my favorite most horrifying vividl nightmare fuel murder that has ever been written EVER. Hard Case Crime continues their tradition of publishing books you don’t want to put down.

4 stars out of 5

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not Bad

Narrator was fine
Story was fine
Listened through Audible +
Overall it was wasn't that bad

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Ray is a ass.

I hated the main character Ray. the story was week.
not very realistic just plain dumb.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

361

This was a very fast moving murder mystery. I enjoyed it and want to read more from this author.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A good romp

Good characters, twisty and compelling story line and great narration. Although if I hear someone say "see what I mean" any time soon, I may have to smack them :)

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Boring

This book is really hard work. There are lots of descriptions of uninteresting or ancillary characters and the action bogs down frequently.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Long winded pulp gangster story

Generally I have enjoyed almost every hard case crime book I’ve read. And I’m always willing to experiment and try new one. But I found this Westlake book to be sub par. It’s interesting to illustrate a point in time in pulp fiction when authors were paid for the word and it showed. There are a few moments that are excellent but the book is overwhelmed by a slow pace, weak character development and a plot that just barely comes together. There are a few good surprises but I think there are other books and authors in the hard case crime series who have done it better

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Nice and hard-boiled.

A solid story with a good performance. Has that gritty, hardcore, old old-school crime.story feel.