University of Chicago Press, Paperback, 9780226771045, 213pp.
Publication Date: April 15, 2009
You probably haven t ever noticed them. But they ve noticed you. They notice "everything." That's their job. Sitting quietly in a nondescript car outside a bank making note of the tellers work habits, the positions of the security guards. Lagging a few car lengths behind the Brinks truck on its daily rounds. Surreptitiously jiggling the handle of an unmarked service door at the racetrack.
They re thieves. Heisters, to be precise. They re pros, and Parker is far and away the best of them. If you re planning a job, you want him in. Tough, smart, hardworking, and relentlessly focused on his trade, he is the heister's heister, the robber's robber, the heavy's heavy. You don t want to cross him, and you don t want to get in his way, because he ll stop at nothing to get what he's after.
Parker, the ruthless antihero of Richard Stark's eponymous mystery novels, is one of the most unforgettable characters in hardboiled noir. Lauded by critics for his taut realism, unapologetic amorality, and razor-sharp prose-style and adored by fans who turn each intoxicating page with increasing urgency Stark is a master of crime writing; his books as influential as any in the genre. The University of Chicago Press has embarked on a project to return the early volumes of this series to print for a new generation of readers to discover and become addicted to.
Parker works with a group of professional con men in "The Score" on his biggest job yet robbing an entire town in North Dakota.
Whatever Stark writes, I read. He's a stylist, a pro, and I thoroughly enjoy his attitude. Elmore Leonard
Westlake knows precisely how to grab a reader, draw him or her into the story, and then slowly tighten his grip until escape is impossible. "Washington"" Post Book World"
Donald Westlake's Parker novels are among the small number of books I read over and over. Forget all that crap you ve been telling yourself about "War and Peace" and Proust these are the books you ll want on that desert island. Lawrence Block.
“The UC Press mission, to reprint the 1960s Parker novels of Richard Stark (the late Donald Westlake), is wholly admirable. The books have been out of print for decades, and the fast-paced, hard-boiled thrillers featuring the thief Parker are brilliant.”
-H. J. Kirchoff
“Perhaps this, more than anything else, is what I admire about these novels: the consistent ruthlessness of an unapologetic bastard. And so if you’re a fan of noir novels and haven’t yet read Richard Stark, you may want to give these books a try. Who knows? Parker may just be the son of a bitch you’ve been searching for.”