Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Outfit (Parker, #3)” as Want to Read:
The Outfit (Parker, #3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Outfit (Parker #3)

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  2,547 Ratings  ·  201 Reviews
When the Outfit tries to kill him, Parker declares war. Ripping off the syndicate is easy, but going one-on-one with Bronson, the Outfit's big boss, is the hard part. Hard for anyone but Parker, because the entire underworld understands that whatever Parker does -- he does for keep.
Paperback, 213 pages
Published December 31st 1998 by Mysterious Press (first published 1963)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Outfit, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Outfit

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details

…that is the sound of icy cold, 80 proof, liquid badasseliciousness seeping from every pore of Richard Stark’s mantastic anti-hero, Parker. Over the past several seasons, thanks in large part to Kemper and Dan), I have become a big fan of crime fiction. During my reading excursions, I have come across some very engaging characters with high quotients of rough and tumble nastiness.

Parker is in a mold-breaking class by himself.

He’s unlike anyone else I've stumbled
Dan Schwent
After a hit man tries to kill Parker while he's in bed with a ladyfriend, Parker decides it's time to settle his score with The Outfit once and for all. While his various criminal acquaintances begin hitting Outfit-owned targets, Parker makes plans to take out the head of the Outfit. But will even taking out the top guy get the Outfit off his back?

As usual, Stark delivers the goods in fast-paced, stripped down style. Parker and Handy do what they do best. The plotting and action, as always, were
Mar 26, 2014 Mara rated it really liked it
Shelves: series, 2014-reads
When The Outfit sets its sights on Parker it doesn't count on the fact that men like Parker, the "independent contractors" of the underworld are, in their own way, legion. The powers that be as well as the cogs and drones who comprise the myriad operations under the purview of The Outfit are soft targets, heretofore left alone out of a sort of professional courtesy. But, guess what kids? The gloves are coming off of Parker's freakishly powerful mitts.

The fact that Parker's first task is to laun
Richard Vialet
I love that I've discovered the Parker series. I'd been searching for a good series of popcorn books that I can read quickly without a whole lot of brainpower when I'm in that mood, or when I'm working and have little time to read. The Parker books have filled that void for me. They're quick, in-and-out little adventures that I can pop like mean little gummi bears whenever I want!

This episode seems to concludes the beef between master criminal Parker and the organized crime syndicate, the Outfit
Jan 19, 2011 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
I feel like an asshole giving this book five stars while only giving four stars to a much superior book like The Melancholy of Resistance. And then to rub in my shame goodreads goes and makes a new section on our profile pages where our favorite books are shown, and this is one of them, sitting right there in between Gravity's Rainbow and Infinite Jest. Horrors!

I hate the new favorites area on the profiles. Wasn't it enough to have a section in your profile you could list favorite books if you w
When Parker and the Outfit had a dispute in the first book of the series, Parker warned them what he’d do if they didn’t leave him alone. But after surviving an attempt on his life, it’s time for Parker to make good on his threat.

As Parker told the bosses of the Outfit, all the professional thieves know each other, and all of them have worked out some kind of scenario for robbing one of their operations because they’re cash-rich and won’t bring any legal attention. Potential revenge by the Outfi
Jan 14, 2011 brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
in the hunter, parker warned the Outfit that if he were to instruct all his contacts to hit Outfit run businesses across the nation, they could put some serious hurting on the organization. it never comes to that. in this book it does. and it's glorious. not only do we track parker's moves against high-ranking members of the Outfit, but individual chapters are devoted to heists and jobs by various transient criminals directed at the Outfit. good stuff.

i've always loved stories which feature an
Oct 24, 2015 F.R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading the first three Parker novels one after the other, it’s fascinating to observe what different beasts they are. The first is a terse, tense revenge thriller; the next is a book creating the true Parker formula, where our uber-professional thief gets a job and works on it, taking out every irritation as it comes; whilst the third is an odd combination of the two. In a way the ‘job is planned and carried out’ formula is here: the job being to get to Bronson – the head of the outfit, who we ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 12, 2015 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action, thriller
This was a sort of relief to me. I mean this is far from great literature and it's a little disturbing that I like this/these books. Parker is a pretty cold duck (though he seems to be mellowing or something). It's an action read and a straight up thriller. Don't look for the philosophical take Parker has on life. Mostly he's good if he steals enough to live well.

Of course the fact that the Outfit has a problem with Parker and wants him dead is putting a cramp in his he has to kill th
My edition was a download from the library produced by Audio Go, read by John Chancer. It's about 300 minutes long & fantastic, again. Occasionally the job setups dragged a bit, came across as pedantic, but they were interesting for all that. As usual, Parker's acquaintances cause him issues, but this time they helped out, too. Great idea & very well done.

A thread from the beginning leads me in to the next book, too. On to read the next, The Mourner. I just have to know...
Aug 31, 2009 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Parker had gotten a face lift to disguise himself from the Outfit. Word was out now, though they didn't know what he looked like. When someone fingers him and a hit man is sent, he decides it's tme to do something about it.

He heads north from Florida, visiting people along the way he'd worked with in the past. He also wrote letters to others to far off the route. He asked all if they had plans to hit outfit(they all idly thought about such jobs). As a professional courtesy, they left such hits a
Mar 22, 2016 C.W. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
3.5 - Good entry into this series! Parker is such a great character to read about. And by great, I mean ridiculous. He's crazy. And will do literally anything he has to. I'm happy to root for him, though, and happy with how the story went in this one.
Jane Stewart
Apr 15, 2013 Jane Stewart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Outfit (mafia) sends a hitman to kill Parker. Parker makes the Outfit sorry it ever tangled with him.

I’m enjoying these stories and find myself wanting to read one right after the other. Like potato chips, you can’t eat just one. These are about bad guys. They rob. They kill. They don’t go to jail. They’re smart. It’s fun to be in this world for a change. A few times I’m delighted or surprised with something. I liked the plot in this one.

The narrator John Chancer was ok.

This is book 3 in the
The weakest in the series that I've read so far. But that's not to say it isn't worth a look. On the down side, The Outfit is simply unbelievable, with its notion that Parker only has to sit down and write some letters to his fellow professional robbers to take down a nationwide criminal organization. Westlake (Stark) is trying to say something about corporate America -- and corporate criminals, than runs along the lines of Who can tell the difference anymore? (That was probably a cliche even in ...more
Jun 12, 2014 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Noir crime novels
Recommended to Mark by: ed Lynsky
The closing episode of Parkers' Clash with the outfit that started in The Hunter.

The story starts with an attempt on Parkers' life while enjoying a physical tryst with a lady. When Parker obviously survives he wants answers and he gets them. Parker realizes that the Outfit will keep targeting him unless he takes steps to make it financial unappealing to keep tracking him down while at the same time taking out the responsible person.
This book is about Parkers' campaign against the Outfit in whic
Nov 27, 2014 Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, thriller
Third in the Parker series. Parker went to all the trouble to get a new face that was revealed in book 2, but finds by the end of that book that his new appearance has been revealed anyway and the "Outfit," (Organized Crime) is out to kill him. Parker strikes back as only he can do. Good one!
Talk about a kick-ass beginning: right from the first sentence Parker is rolling out of bed as a hit man's bullet fluffs the pillow Parker's head just vacated. Now that is starting in the middle of the action for dang sure. Doesn't let up either. So that I love. And Stark/Westlake's style in these Parker novels is beautifully precise. Lean, yet concrete. Not lush, yet sensory. Complicated heist descriptions, yet easy to read as a recipe. And if you love heist books, well, this is the motherlode ...more
Luca Lesi
Oct 01, 2015 Luca Lesi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Credi a me, al mondo c'è un'unica cosa giusta: la poligamia — sentenziò lui.
Simbolicamente si chiude la trilogia iniziale di Parker, personaggio di difficile collocazione tra bene e male, giudice, giustiziere e vittima, ironico e spietato.
Letture senza impegno ma di buona qualità
Se è vero che le persone oneste non devono mai dare spiegazioni, Parker non ne da nemmeno quando agisce da disonesto.
Parker si accontenta di arraffare il denaro, dovunque lo trovi. Fa uno o due colpi all'anno, e si tratt
Jun 26, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I purchased this on Amazon based on the fact that a friend on Goodreads had been reading this series by Richard Stark, one of Donald Westlake's pseudonyms. This was another attempt at finding a crime author who can match John D. MacDonald. No dice on that score; Stark/Westlake is no JDM. However, I found this book interestingly satisfying, and I'm interested in reading more in the series. (I have also finished, before writing this review, the first in the series, The Hunter.)
Stark/Westlake is wh
Tim Niland
Aug 18, 2009 Tim Niland rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-reads
The mob never should have messed with Parker. Before it was business, but when they sent the hit man to his hotel, it became personal. Can the master thief and ultimate anti-hero take down the entire Syndicate? Loners like Parker and his underworld associates had previously honored an uneasy peace with organized crime, but now all deals are off. Parker spreads the word - hit them and hit them hard. Soon, Outfit fronts for gambling and loan sharking are being hit all across the country, but Parke ...more
Dec 16, 2014 Piker7977 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-mystery
The quest to complete the Parker canon is very fun and extremely addicting.

The Outfit was a blast. Parker is looking to tie up some loose ends with the Outfit and hit them right where it hurts. Right from the start one realizes the Outfit still has plans for Parker and after that it's off to the races. The reader is in for a real treat with some clever heists and a satisfying ending. One can appreciate the code of professional armed robbers after reading this episode.

We also learn a little bit
Apr 04, 2010 Eric_W rated it liked it
What is it that makes us (me) find the bad guy so intriguing? Why do we root for Parker? His sense of independence? Is it the David v Goliath theme? Probably all of the above.

This story is dated: no cell phones or other little technological marvels that surround us today, but it's a good story. Parker, our favorite bad guy, is annoyed after the syndicate hires a hitman to take him out. Parker had stolen back some money he was owed and the "outfit" was pissed. Realizing that they won't give up,
Apr 28, 2009 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the original hard boiled tough guy. Stark (Westlake writing as Stark) boils the essence of a smart no-nonsense tough guy down from the work of the greats that wrote detective and crime fiction before him, and created Parker. Forget the movies you may have seen - be they timeless classics or modern dreck - and do yourself a favor and read these. If you like crime fiction you have to check these books out. The Chicago Press has re-released them in sharp stylish new paperbacks that are inex ...more
Tony Gleeson
Jun 23, 2010 Tony Gleeson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the moment I skipped the second entry in Stark/Westlake's Parker series, "The Man with the Getaway Face," and moved on to "The Outfit." Simple premise. The Mob has decided to come after Parker-- a bad mistake since that results in Parker coming after them. Again the plot runs like a well-designed machine: nobody and nothing stands in the way of the callous and unrelenting criminal. There are few surprises and the end is never really in doubt-- but the story remains captivating throughout. A ...more
Oct 20, 2010 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noirboiled
The Parker novels are at their best when they are at their most restrained. While Parker and his cohorts are planning and executing their heists, the narratives are fascinating, but when the guns fire and the fists fly, things get much less interesting. So it goes with The Outfit: The action of the opening chapter tries too hard, and the shoot-'em-up climax is anti-climactic, but everything in between is just about perfect.
Jul 02, 2011 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardcase-crime
I like to say that I like Westlake's humor more than his dark serious books, but the Parker series is REALLY good! Best part is that they're more or less continued (at least the first three are part of a trilogy). Not that you couldn't read them by themselves, but they are richer if read one after the other. Highly recommended if you like hardcase crime / noir.
Mar 18, 2010 Jake rated it really liked it
Shelves: cool-books
Donald Westlake said that when he felt bad about the world, he wrote as Richard Stark. His legendary Parker series is an example of this. My first taste of the books, its as fast paced and yet as bleak as can be. None of the characters are deep or redeemable. Yet it is a quality crime read that roars from page 1 to the end. I'll definitely check out more at some point.
Dec 16, 2012 Darren rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
I enjoyed the first couple of Parker novels, but this one was just okay. It also seemed to undermine the whole conceit of The Man With The Getaway Face, considering how Parker breezed through the eponymous enemy, here.
Feb 04, 2016 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So good! I have a whole new appreciation of organized crime's money-making schemes. Fun to read and an education too.
Jan 13, 2016 Sarah rated it liked it
The book was decent Noir. It was a quick read, and enough to convince me to buy more Parker novels- if they aren't over five dollars or so.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score
  • The Name of the Game Is Death (Drake, #1)
  • 361
  • The First Quarry (Quarry #8)
  • A Touch of Death (Hard Case Crime #17)
  • The Wheelman
  • Choke Hold
  • Getting Off
  • Little Girl Lost (Hard Case Crime #4)
  • Lucky at Cards (Hard Case Crime #28)
  • A Hell of a Woman
  • The Coldest Mile (Cold, #2)
  • The Girl with the Long Green Heart (Hard Case Crime #14)

Other Books in the Series

Parker (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • The Hunter (Parker, #1)
  • The Man With The Getaway Face (Parker, #2)
  • The Mourner (Parker, #4)
  • The Score (Parker, #5)
  • The Jugger (Parker, #6)
  • The Seventh (Parker, #7)
  • The Handle (Parker, #8)
  • The Rare Coin Score (Parker, #9)
  • The Green Eagle Score (Parker, #10)
  • The Black Ice Score (Parker, #11)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »