Thursday, January 15, 2015

Nobody Runs Forever by Richard Stark

(hb; 2004: twenty-second book in the Parker series)

From the inside flap:

"Seven men came to a meeting in Cincinnati. One wore a wire, and another didn't hesitate to kill him -- fast and hard. Now Parker has left that meeting and the murder behind, and gotten involved with a scheme that is stuffed with money and trouble.

"In the rural northwestern corner of Massachusetts, Parker and a pal plan to steal an armored car. But the human element gets in the way. From a nervous ex-con and his well-intentioned sister to a bank manager's two-timing wife and a beautiful, relentless cop, too many people have their hands too close to Parker's pie. Then a bounty hunter, who just happens to be hunting the man who never left Cincinnati meeting, joins the fray.

"Parker can see this job turning bad, yet he can't let go of the score. And when guns go off and the heist goes down, the perfect plan will explode with a sound and fury all its own. For Parker, there's always the choice of turning from fight to flight -- even if there's nowhere to run."


Parker and his current heistmates -- Nick Dalesia (from an earlier Parker novel, I forget which one) and Nelson McWhitney (a recent acquaintance) -- have their hands full when they take on an armored car heist that initially seems easy-peasy but quickly turns complicated because of other human scavengers who, for various reasons, have taken an interest in the heisters' activities. (Briggs, an explosives expert and another former Parker heistmate, briefly makes an appearance in Nobody as well.)

This twenty-second novel in this series is, like all previous Parker novels, a high-water pulp-noir mark work, hardboiled, masterful and entertaining. It's worth owning, and those reading Nobody should have the next Parker novel in their possession if they can't wait to see how this character-complicated actioner plays out.

Followed by Ask the Parrot.

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