After the publication of Butcher’s Moon in 1974, Donald Westlake said, “Richard Stark proved to me that he had a life of his own by simply disappearing. He was gone.” And listeners waited.
But nothing bad is truly gone forever, and Parker’s as bad as they come. According to Westlake, one day in 1997, “suddenly, he came back from the dead, with a chalky prison pallor” - and the novels that followed showed that neither Parker nor Stark had lost a step.
Backflash finds Parker checking out the scene on a Hudson River gambling boat. Parker’s no fan of either relaxation or risk, however, so you can be sure he’s playing with house money - and he’s willing to do anything to tilt the odds in his favor. Featuring a great cast of heisters, a striking setting, and a new introduction by Westlake’s close friend and writing partner, Lawrence Block, this classic Parker adventure deserves a place of honor in any crime fan’s library.
©1997 Richard Stark; Foreword Lawrence Block (P)2013 AudioGO
It didn’t grab me like some of the others, but it was ok. I still want to read the whole series.
This is about a heist from a riverboat gambling casino. The plans are a little more intricate than normal, including getting a guy to pretend to be a politician with body guards. A woman pretends to be wheelchair bound. The main suspense is after the heist when other parties make a play for the money. The best part was when a bad cop put Parker in handcuffs. I enjoyed the way Parker got out of that one.
The narrator Keith Szarabajka is my favorite narrator for the Parker series. He does a great Parker voice - menacing.
This is book 18 in the 24 book series. These stories are about bad guys. They rob. They kill. They’re smart. Most don’t go to jail. Parker is the main bad guy, a brilliant strategist. He partners with different guys for different jobs in each book.
If you are new to the series, I suggest reading the first three and then choose among the rest. A few should be read in order since characters continue in a sequel fashion. Those are listed below (with my star ratings). The rest can be read as stand alones.
The first three books in order:
4 stars. The Hunter (Point Blank movie with Lee Marvin 1967) (Payback movie with Mel Gibson)
3 ½ stars. The Man with the Getaway Face (The Steel Hit)
4 stars. The Outfit.
Read these two in order:
5 stars. Slayground (Bk #14)
5 stars. Butcher’s Moon (Bk #16)
Read these four in order:
4 ½ stars. The Sour Lemon Score (Bk #12)
2 ½ stars. Firebreak (Bk #20)
(not read) Nobody Runs Forever (Bk #22)
2 ½ stars. Dirty Money (Bk #24)
Others that I gave 4 or more stars to:
The Jugger (Bk #6), The Seventh (Bk#7), The Handle (Bk #8), Deadly Edge (Bk#13), Flashfire (Bk#19)
GENRE: noir crime fiction
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