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Donald E. Westlake has written numerous novels under his own name and several pseudonyms, including Richard Stark. Many of his books have been screened, including The Hunter, which became the brilliant film noir Point Blank, and the 1999 smash hit Payback. The winner of three Edgar awards and a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, Donald E. Westlake has also been presented with the Private Eye Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award. He lives with his wife in rural New York State.
Parker and crew have their eyes on the contents of a secret vault in a billionaire's hunting lodge in this typically taut thriller written by Donald E. Westlake under his nom de noir, but first the tough antihero must deal, roughly, with some people trying to whack him. A Russian hit man provides the overture action as Parker attracts the attention of enemies from the past and meets the killer mercilessly. Parker spends much of the rest of the book seeking out the source of the contract, gradually learning that his current job has brought his name and whereabouts to the surface. The job is one his old partners, Elkins and Wiss, have put on the table: a stash of paintings by Old Masters stolen from museums around the world and kept in dot-com mogul Paxton Marino's Montana lodge for his personal pleasure. To get past Marino's sophisticated electronic safeguards, they need help from a computer-nerd-gone-bad, really bad, named Lloyd. The author delivers this novel with the economy of a 1950s paperback original ("Twelve thousand dollars in twenties and fifties was rolled into an orange juice concentrate can in the freezer"), but slips in enough plot twists and surprises to satisfy the most modern audience (no heist ever written by Stark/Westlake comes off without lots of hitches). That Parker, on general principles, doesn't bump off Lloyd at first sight almost seems like a sign of weakness, but it's the only one in this deliciously nasty read. (Nov. 14) Forecast: Coming on the heels of Flashfire (2000), the last Parker novel, this one promises to be just as big a hit for MWA Grand Master and three-time Edgar-winner Westlake. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
The nonpareil, the hard-boiledest of the hard-boiled, one of the best-loved names in all of noir: Parker is truly frightening... - Guardian
Stark (Backflash, LJ 9/1/98), a pseudonym for prolific crime-fiction writer Donald E. Westlake, offers another adventure in his long-running "Parker" series. This latest shows that Stark retains the gift for careful plotting and darkly humorous circumstances that can make his books a joy to read for patrons who don't mind the violence. Parker, once described by critic Stanley Bart as a thief who "gets annoyed and kills everybody," has mellowed a bit over time. Though the novel begins with Parker's calmly killing a man while being called to the phone, he keeps his rampages to a minimum as the book progresses. He stays focused on the jobs at hand, first helping to steal a treasure trove of art that a dot-com billionaire has secreted away and then finding out who sent the man in the garage to kill him. Parker is amoral and ruthless, but he's not cruel. He is surrounded by people who are also amoral but evil or stupid as well, which allows him to play the hero's role by being calm and thorough and by being a survivor. Recommended for public libraries. Patrick J. Wall, University City P.L., MO Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.