Donald Westlake died New Year's Eve. He created the Parker ultra-hardboiled novels and the comic Dortmunder novels as well as other characters and a seemingly bottomless well of short stories.
I'm not as big a fan as several of my friends but the Parker novels that I've read, as well as "Kahawa", have kicked me off my seat. He wrote some of the hardest and most brutal crime stories I've ever encountered. Great stuff and a great loss.