Monday, November 03, 2014
Butcher's Moon by Richard Stark
(pb; 1974, 2011: sixteenth novel in the Parker series. Introduction by Lawrence Block.)
From the back cover:
"Parker's back in town where he lost his money, and nearly his life, in Slayground. He wants his money back and he's willing to call in a career's worth of favors - and drop a career's worth of bodies - to get it. Even if it means starting a gang war."
Butcher's is the wrap-up novel of the "first cycle" of Stark's Parker novels (he wouldn't publish another one until 1997, twenty-five years later). It is a great early summary work that not only recalls the structure and storyline of the first Parker novel (The Hunter) but updates it by reworking and updating those elements with characters Parker has met throughout the previous fifteen books - particularly Slayground, Plunder Squad, The Green Eagle Score, The Outfit and The Score, among others.
This series is easily one of the best series - in any genre - that I have read in my forty-plus years as a reader. Do yourself a favor (if you're a fan of taut, waste-no-words crime writing) and read these books, preferably in order.
Followed by Comeback.