He was a writing machine, sometimes releasing four books a year under a litter of names real and pseudonymed, the most famous, perhaps, being Richard Stark. (He once said "I write Westlake stories on sunny days. When it rains, I'm Stark.") I've only read two of Westlake's books (Cops and Robbers and Trust Me On This); I need to read more.
Mr. Westlake, may you now be spitballing story ideas with Evan Hunter. *salutes*
Later: But Westlake lives on...in maybe more ways than you'd think. A participant on Harlan Ellison's forum pointed out something:
Bloomington, IN - Thursday, January 1 2009 20:26:34
...Just a few nights ago I was sitting around with some friends watching an episode of Leverage, the new caper show on TNT. I remarked on the fact that the show's master thief is named Parker, and noted that this *had* to be the show's way of tipping its hat to Richard Stark. My friends -- uncultured baboons all, apparently -- had never heard of him, and I spent the next half hour enthusing over the glories of Westlake, Stark, Dortmunder, and particularly that supreme creation, Parker. I got myself so worked up that I shuffled a couple of my favorites (The Man With The Getaway Face and Drowned Hopes) into my reading pile. I'll be reading them in a much different mood, now.