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Breakout by Richard Stark


by Richard Stark

Series: Parker (21)

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Well, this isn't my favorite Parker novel of all time, but it is a Parker novel, so I liked it! The title says it all "Breakout", and in fact there are three breakouts in here! Out of prison, out of a botched job, and out of the whole dang thing! Parker teams up with Mackey and Williams in all 3 and they do it as only they can! If you like Parker, you'll like this book! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Feb 26, 2017 |
Another classic Richard Stark, a.k.a. Donald Westlake, or vice versa if you prefer. Again featuring that completely amoral thief, Parker, as usual, several things go wrong with the caper forcing Parker to extricate himself from a mess. Unusually, Parker finds himself in prison (again due to a colleague’s carelessness and his own use of a name that had a record from another state) and must breakout. This he and a couple of colleagues accomplish but then he reluctantly becomes involved in another theft only to again have things go terribly wrong (this hardly qualifies as a spoiler since it’s part of the formula.)

Their entrance into the armory and attempted exit is a brilliant example of Westlake’s descriptive writing making this one of the best of the Parker novels. The only problem with reading these novels is that you realize they inevitably come to an end; there is no endless supply. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
If these Parker novels weren't so well written I wouldn't go to the trouble of suspending my morals and ethics for however long it takes to read one of these stories.. but they are very well written!

In this one Parker finds himself incarcerated and desperate to escape before the officials find out he's not who they thought they had locked up! It's out of and back into one compromising situation after another as Parker takes his best shot at avoiding serious hard time! ( )
  jastbrown | May 18, 2011 |
For some reason, I thought this was the “real life” author that Stephen King was referencing when he wrote the character George Stark in The Dark Half. But it’s not. At least I don’t think so. And Richard Stark is the pseudonym for yet another writer.

Overall, this wasn’t bad at all. He has a tight, spare style that is stripped down and bare but yet conveys so much detail and atmosphere. His style is like a film noir – mostly action with a hint of history. Fast-paced, too. With plenty of villains. It seemed to have no details of the escape or the heist, but yet somehow enough was explained for me to understand. He doesn’t dwell on details – he moves things along very quickly.

Parker escapes from Stoneveldt with the help of his outside buddy who does some background checking on his fellow inmates. He comes up with a few who are looking at long stretches of time, have their shit together and aren’t assholes. They make it but the succeeding heist goes wrong and they are trapped in a high-security building with no way out. After a lot of work and anxious hours, they get out of there.

Meanwhile, Parker’s outside man’s girlfriend is turned into the police for listing a false name on her gym membership. She only joined the gym because it was in the same building as the heist target. Somehow she’s held on this and connected to the band that burst out of there. The same lawyer (a friend of Parker’s sometime girlfriend, Claire) who helped Parker in jail now helps her and eventually they turn her loose.

After that they need to get away from the cops and out of town. One of the jailbreakers turns into an incredibly loyal guy and helps them out of a couple of tight spots. In the very end, Parker hooks up with Claire in her apartment and we’re done.

I’d read another. ( )
  Bookmarque | Jun 14, 2009 |
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When the alarm went off, Parker and Armiston were far to the rear of the warehouse, Armiston with the clipboard, checking off the boxes they'd want.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 089296779X, Hardcover)

Tired of do-gooder heroes saving the day? Meet Parker--just Parker to you, bub--a one-man wrecking crew, cunning, fearless, and more than just a little cold-blooded. Writing again under hard-boiled alter-ego Richard Stark, Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Donald E. Westlake returns to the violent world of his legendary criminal creation with Breakout.

This time around Parker has picked certain members of his crew wrong and the job goes south right into the county lockup. Alone and isolated, the antihero finds himself without much wiggle room. But experienced Stark readers know, wiggling is what the slippery Parker does best. In Breakout, he wiggles himself out of jail and right into an even more dangerous situation involving an armory, a tunnel, and a jewelry wholesaler.

While there are rough spots here and there, Breakout is simply another fun-to-read Parker novel, taking readers again to the flip side where the bad guys win and the good guys are never as good as they should be. Call it a great escape because, with this Parker novel in particular, that's just what it is. --Jeremy Pugh

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:17 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"In a drab, hulking warehouse in a hulking, drab city in the center of an empty state, Parker is caught moving pharmaceuticals into a waiting truck. Led into a joint called Stoneveldt - from which no one has ever escaped - Parker has to find a way out, before his whole violent past catches up with him. And getting out of Stoneveldt means taking on the only partners he can find, including one who is already planning his next job." "For Parker and his fellow jail breakers, freedom is just another word for committing their next felony. They pull off the perfect jailbreak and then start the perfect heist. But things go south in a hurry - leaving three men dead and Parker and his fellow escape artists scratching, clawing, and running for their lives. Suddenly, the big, drab city in the big, empty Midwestern state has become a prison. A cast of cops, busybodies, snitches, and weak links have turned into jailers. And for Parker, the ultimate jailbreak is about to begin."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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