Books
Donald E Westlake

The Scared Stiff

A couple’s insurance scam could turn a faked death into a real one, in this witty crime thriller by the Edgar Award–winning author of the Dortmunder novels.
After more than a decade of skipping out on their debts, Lola and Barry owe a lot of money to the wrong people. To escape the loan sharks, Barry decides it’s time for one of them to die—or at least to pretend to. As the venue for this insurance fraud, they choose Lola’s home country, Guerrera, where death certificates come cheap and government record-keeping is sketchy at best. There is only one problem: la familia.
After Barry’s “death,” Lola returns to the US, leaving her husband in the hands of her family as he begins to assume her brother’s identity. But the South-American hospitality of Lola’s relatives soon wears thin as they realize that their lives might be easier if Barry’s death weren’t just an act. Conning an insurance company is tricky enough, but no matter the country, no one is more dangerous than the in-laws.
272 printed pages
Original publication
2013

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