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The Mourner  By  cover art

The Mourner

By: Richard Stark
Narrated by: Stephen R. Thorne
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Publisher's Summary

The heist was a piece of cake. It didn't bother Parker that the priceless statue was in a Russian diplomat's house… because he had no scruples about ripping off a Red. It didn't bother Parker that his ex-girlfriend had blackmailed him into pulling this job… because he figured out how to make an extra fifty grand on the deal. It did bother Parker that somebody else was trying to steal the statue first - because being second wasn't Parker's style. Whether he was up against the mob or the KGB, Parker intended to beat them all at the stealing game. Of course, he didn't count on a double cross, a two-timing blonde, and one lethal luger aimed at making him not only second, but last. Dead last.

©1963 Richard Stark (P)2011 BBC Audiobooks America

What listeners say about The Mourner

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Shifting perspective

One of the better Parker books. This may be since much of the book is told from the perspective of s character other than Parker.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Anti hero heaven

This heist artist noir series us great. Listened to this one straight through. Highly recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The Parker Saga Continues

The narrator does not sound as rugged as Parker would be, but the story moves along with its fair share of plot twists, turns, and betrayals that Parker must maneuver his way through. Looking forward to more stories!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • RJ
  • 07-09-21

The double!

This story is written by Donald E. Westlake as Richard Stark, a different narrator as well. After the Outfit aka Syndicate caper, Parker returned home to conclude business with Beth Harrow. If you recall, she had snatched the Bronson murder weapon before leaving, obviously wanting leverage over Parker. He needed to find out what she wanted. Beth showed up at his door with her father, Ralph in tow. After a long, exasperating background story from Dad, it came to pass that he wanted Parker to steal a priceless sixteen-inch statue called “The Mourner”. So much for the setup of the story. Now, we can return to the opening sequence of the story; burglars, “fat man” Agus Menlow, kidnapping, and rescue. Menlow’s interests were quite different than Parkers but when Parker found out, he was interested as well. Menlow, Parker, and Handy worked together on their combined interests. As we have discovered from other volumes, the business Parker pursues is ripe with the double-cross. As we have also discovered, Parker does not forgive such behavior. Another good story with interesting characters. I like this series.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Lying and Triggers and Snares, Oh My!

Like every previous installment of the Parker saga, there are no heroes here. No virtuous minor characters, either (even the hotel desk clerks are sniffy). Everyone does the wrong thing—and never for the right reason. Our only option? In the absence of an allegiance to any of the characters, you simply sit back, smile, and wait to see how it will all turn out. It’s all wrong, of course. But it is fun.

Especially this one. Even theft, murder, and double-crosses can be amusing when seasoned with the irrepressible wit and vivid style of Stark/Westlake. After enjoying the first three Parker stories with John Chancer at the mic, it took a chapter or two before I started appreciating Stephen Thorne's style.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Chancer is better

This time, Parker did not hold my attention. I have a feeling it’s because of the narrator. He reads it like he doesn’t care. His accent is distracting and offputting. John Chancer is a much better narrator and have my attention the entire time. I’m interested in the character in the story, but the narrators delivery is really tough to work against..

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Solid Crime Caper That Missed The Mark

Thorne did a fair job of narration, but the rough depth of Parker's character didn't come across. This is a solid heist story, but it did not keep me as engaged as the first three did.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A Good Read, But There Are Better Parker Stories

If you could sum up The Mourner in three words, what would they be?

Good, Not Great

Would you recommend The Mourner to your friends? Why or why not?

I would not recommend this as the first Parker book to read. It ties up loose ends from the previous story but is not as good of a heist story as The Score. It's a solid read but with better Parker books to choose from, it's mainly for the hardcore Parker fans.

What about Stephen R. Thorne’s performance did you like?

He's straight forward, gives a universal voice without exaggerating very much.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not as much as previous Parker books.

Any additional comments?

This is solid, but not up to the level of the other Parker books I have read so far. It picks up where The Outfit lets off, but it doesn't expand much on that story which stands alone just fine, and it's not as good of a heist story as The Score which follows it.

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Book 4 good stand alone plot

This is a straight forward crime caper.
Parker is called on to steal a figurine, and you get to see how the heist is put together.
Taunt and well paced

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It wasn’t as good as the first three books,

but it was still good. My mind wandered at times.

KGB guy Menlo comes to the US to kill Kapor, a Russian diplomat who stole from the KGB. A woman blackmails Parker into stealing a statue from Kapor. Parker and Menlo end up working together.

I was surprised at what Parker did after he was shot. Those kind of surprises are why I like this author.

The narrator Stephen R. Thorne was ok. But I preferred John Chancer’s gravely voice for Parker. Stephen’s voice sounded too clean cut and normal for Parker, but he was good with the rest.

This is book 4 in the 24 book series. It’s about half the length of a typical novel.

Genre: noir crime fiction