The Hook by Donald Westlake
Combination Crime and Writer’s Drama
Bryce Proctorr is a successful writer, well-known wherever he goes. His wife is famous only for being married to him, and she’s dragging him over the coals in an ugly divorce.
Bryce is stuck with a bad case of writer’s block, and an impending deadline. His chance encounter with an old college buddy and fellow writer, Wayne Prentice, generates an evil idea, and Proctorr has a proposition: If Prentice gives Proctorr his unsold manuscript to be sold under Proctorr’s name, they will split the book advance fifty-fifty. There’s just one small catch to the deal…. and that is what drives the entire story.
The story moves amazingly well but gets hung up two-thirds through and spends a great deal of time in internal dialog about the angst within both writers. The story was still so good I was afraid to put it down. Nevertheless; the inner workings of each writer are a point of empathy. If you are a writer, you will recognize the thought schemes from your own.
The story provides lots of surprising twists and turns. The ending though is anticlimactic and leaves you hanging.