July 16th, 2009

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Parker Parked the Car

46) Nobody Runs Forever by Richard Stark (Mysterious Press, 2004, 300 pages)
Heist master Parker returns to pull an armored car job in Massachusetts in this installment in the popular antihero series. The prose, like the characters, is very hardboiled. The wisecracks are acidic. These are tough guys doing tough jobs, with the occasional tough woman involved (as well as a handful of softies to be taken advantage of). Of course, the heist is the real star of the show, and this time around it is a particularly fraught with lots of potential blowups, so the questions of "What's going to go wrong?" and "How will Parker make out?" are the real suspense devices. The ending is very much ambiguous, and terribly appropriate. It's a shame author Donald E. Westlake passed away. His Richard Stark pseudonym novels are near-perfect gems in the field of crime thrillers.