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Publisher's Summary

When it comes to heists, Parker believes in some cardinal rules. On this job, he breaks two of them: never bring a dame along - especially not one you like - and never, ever, work with amateurs. Nevertheless, with the help of a creep named Billy, and the lure of a classy widow, he agrees to set up a heist of a coin convention. But Billy’s a rookie with no idea how to pull off a score, and the lady soon becomes a major distraction. The Rare Coin Score marks the first appearance of Claire, who will steal Parker’s heister’s heart - while together they steal two million dollars’ worth of coins.

©1967 Richard Stark. All rights reserved. (P)2012 AudioGo

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jane
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 05-17-13

3 ½ stars. Engaging.

Some slightly different characters this time.

Needy childlike Billy loves Claire the widow who sees Billy with contempt. This book was slightly above average but still worth reading because the series is great. I don’t want to stop reading them.

The Forward by Luc Sante was insightful. A few of his comments follow, edited for brevity. “When I read my first Parker novel, I was stunned. I imagined that I had stumbled upon a particularly brilliant specimen of a thriving genre. But I was wrong. There is no such genre... Stark said that he meant the books to be about a workman at work. Process and mechanics and troubleshooting dominate the books. Stark portrays a world of total amorality. It is never suggested in the novels that robbing payrolls or shooting people who present liabilities are anything more than business practices... As brilliant as Parker is as a strategist, he is nothing short of phenomenal at instantly grasping character. This means that he sometimes sounds more like a fictional detective than a crook. In order to decide which path the double crosser he is pursuing is most likely to have taken, or which member of the string is most likely to double cross, or the odds on a reasonable sounding job that has just been proposed to him by someone with shaky credentials, he has to get all the way under the skin of the party in question.”

The narrator John Chancer was good. I liked his voice for Parker.

THE SERIES:
This is book 9 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another great Richard Stark heist novel.

Any additional comments?

The plan is secondary in this tale, it's more about the relationships and personalities. The Rare Coin Score was a fun read, plenty of twists. You know that Parker always comes out on top somehow but nothing ever goes cleanly whenever you get a room of criminals involved. The newbie criminals were a nice touch as well; first timer jitters and all. Great book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A robbery gets entangled: great pacing, no fluff.

Another great Parker novel and it is in this one that he meets Claire. As usual every page counts, there is no waste here. Things go wrong, Parker has to hurry up to mend them, watch his back, and get the money and the girl.

The narrator gives a great rendering that captures the pace and the style.