Sunday, January 04, 2015

Breakout by Richard Stark

(hb; 2002: twenty-first novel in the Parker series)

From the inside flap:

"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 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 jailbreakers, freedom is just another word for committing their next felony. They pull off the perfect jailbreak 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."


The twenty-first entry in the Parker series provides a new, truly-living-on-a-razor's-edge situation for the master thief: not only must he escape from prison (something he hasn't seen the inside of since the first Parker book, The Hunter), but he must pull an immediate job with fellow escapees (Tom Marcantoni and Brandon Williams) while the police search for them.  So much goes wrong in this particular caper, yet -- as in previous ventures -- Parker rarely loses his cool, with help from his aforementioned prison-mates and Ed and Brenda Mackey (last seen in Comeback).

Stark (a.k.a. Donald E. Westlake) once again delivers the hairpin plot turns, succinct writing and often-edgy feel that is associated with his Parker novels. Worth owning, this.

Followed by Nobody Runs Forever.

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