Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Books: Butcher's Moon by Richard Stark

Butcher's Moon: A Parker NovelButcher's Moon: A Parker Novel by Richard Stark

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Is this the greatest Parker novel ever? Now that I've picked my jaw up off of the floor, I'm certainly leaning in that direction. Richard Stark (aka mystery writer Donald Westlake) sends his greatest creation, the master thief and and ultimate anti-hero Parker, back to an amusement park where he stashed $73,000 during a previous adventure (the novel Slayground.) When Parker and his partner in crime Grofield arrive to find the money missing, Parker will stop at nothing to get the it back, no matter how many people are killed, no matter how much mayhem is unleashed. Parker quickly ascertains that the money had been found by crooked town officials and that a couple of factions are fighting for control of the town and off of the graft that comes with it. After Grofield is shot and kidnapped, Parker calls in all the markers he has, bringing a veritable army of crooked gangsters to get Grofield, they money and revenge. This is Parker at his most cold blooded and brutal to the point where his icy veneer slips and he spits a fire-breathing tirade wishing to burn the town down to its foundation. And they damn near do it: Parker plans a series of robberies where his men knock over all of the underground vice operations in the city, before laying siege to the home of the town kingpins where Grofield is being held. The final gun battle must be read to be believed. This was an absolutely extraordinary crime novel, the peak of the Stark/Westlake canon. The action is breakneck but always believable, and the twists and turns of the plot are logical and thrilling. If you are into crime fiction, this book should on no account be missed. Butcher's Moon: A Parker Novel - amazon.com

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