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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0446675261, Paperback)A large part of the pleasure of having Richard Stark back writing about the master criminal Parker is the obvious delight that Stark (a pen name for Donald Westlake) takes in doing the research for his capers. This one must have been a blast. Certainly, he must have spent time on board a cruise ship to get all the inside details for Parker's planned robbery of a fictional floating casino called the Spirit of the Hudson--details such as how to get the cash off (inside a wheelchair's converted potty seat) or how to make use of a hard-shelled female publicist.
Then there must have been a tour of old towns along the Hudson, to come up with this letter-perfect description of a seedy saloon: "It was called the Lido, but it shouldn't have been. It was an old bar, a gray wood cube cut deep into the ground floor of a narrow 19th Century brick house, and at two on a sunny afternoon in April it was dark and dry, smelling of old whiskey and dead wood.... At the bar, muttering together about sports and politics--other people's victories and defeats--were nine or ten shabbily dressed guys who were older than their teeth."
After Comeback (Parker's triumphant return to action after a 20-year hiatus), readers know that all the best planning in the world can't account for fate or human weakness. This time, a weirdly motivated retired civil servant, an out-of-control smalltown cop, and some greedy bikers stand in the way of Parker and Co.'s successful removal of $400,000 from the gambling boat. Stark is too gifted an artist to make their intervention trivial, and also too talented an entertainer to leave his old and new Parker fans unsatisfied with the outcome. --Dick Adler
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:35 -0400)
The master thief, Parker, plots to rob a floating casino on the Hudson River. He puts together a team of robbers, ensures weapons are smuggled on board, and arranges for a getaway boat. The planning is meticulous, but will chance favor the enterprise? By the author of Comeback.
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