The following observation and question was posted by Vince Keenan as one of several comments following my review of Donald Westlake’s Pity Him Afterwards. Since I don’t have an answer, nor can I find a website that says anything relevant, I decided to make a separate blog entry of it.   — Steve

   I recently reread Westlake’s The Hot Rock for the first time in ages and was struck by the fact that Grofield makes an appearance. One of the members of Dortmunder’s crew, Alan Greenwood, is forced to change his last name after he’s arrested. We learn in the book’s penultimate chapter that he’s now Alan Grofield.

    Grofield had already been established in the Parker series as well as his own books at this point. So is this a belated origin story, as they say in the comics field?


[UPDATE]  Later the same evening. I don’t know anything more about Greenwood / Grofield than I did earlier today, but I did some surfing and came up with the following somewhat relevant information. First of all, first editions of The Hot Rock in dust jacket (1970) are starting to get pricey. You can pick up Fair ex-library copies for $15, but be prepared to spend in the low three-figure range for one in VG condition.

The Hot Rock

Even copies of the first printing Pocket paperback are hard to find, although not expensive. The cover image below is taken from a later Canadian printing.

The Hot Rock

There was a movie made of the book, and do you know, I had completely forgotten that it was Robert Redford who played Dortmunder. His brother-in-law, Andrew Kelp, is played by George Segal in the 1972 movie. Others in the gang are Ron Liebman as Stan Murch, and Paul Sand as Alan Greenberg. The image below was taken from the laserdisc version.

The Hot Rock [Laser]

As for Paul Sand, it was surprising difficult to find a photo of him. The one below came from the classic extravaganza TV series, Supertrain (1979). Too bad it’s a few years too late to be useful, but so far, it’s the best I have.