I’ve been listening to audiobooks of Donald Westlake’s Parker novels (written as Richard Stark), extremely hard-boiled crime novels with the sociopathic career criminal Parker as protagonist, and had a minor revelation.
Except for the eponymous Parker, everyone — EVERYONE — in the series is expendable. Backs are stabbed (sometimes literally), crosses doubled and tripled, loyalties abandoned without hesitation, lives taken without a second’s hesitation or regret. Forgiveness and mercy are for chumps, and chumps are the most expendable of all. Betrayal and death can come at any moment.
And the thought struck me: “Oh, this is like Game of Thrones, if GoT was set in the 1960’s criminal underworld, and people like Roose Bolton, Walder Frey, and Ilyn Payne were the primary characters.”
So, hey, if you’re tired of waiting for the next book in ASOIAF, the Parker novels might fill in the gap while you wait.
(Surely it's just a coincidence that prominent characters in ASOIAF are named Stark?)