Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Recently read: "Comeback" by Richard Stark (aka Donald Westlake)
After 1974's Butcher's Moon (reviewed here), Westlake didn't return to his Parker character for nearly twenty-five years. He apparently started Parker stories several times, but always hit a wall. He finally started one, and apparently the story flowed easily, and we got this book, followed by several others.
Here, Parker teams with two other criminals to rob a "Christan Crusade" of cash collected at the door. His team is helped by an insider, who feels that he will take his share of the money and do good, since he has lost faith in the Crusade leader, who appears to be a typically sleazy televangelist.
As with much of Westlake writing, the heist goes wrong. Here, it's one of the partners trying to kill Parker and escape with the entire take. Parker is forced to run, and try and find both the money and the traitor. We get the Crusade's security chief and the city's police dedective on the hunt also. Thrown in the mix is also a trio who knows about the heist, and is intent on stealing the money themselves.
Parker is Parker, and despite the gap between books he still feels pretty much the same. The world has changed somewhat (it's going to be harder to find large amount of cash money to steal) and I'm interested in seeing how Westlake handled the rest of the series.