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Plunder Squad (Parker #15)

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  721 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews

�Hearing the click behind him, Parker threw his glass straight back over his right shoulder, and dove off his chair to the left.� When a job looks like amateur hour, Parker walks away. But even a squad of seasoned professionals can't guarantee against human error in a high-risk scam. Can an art dealer with issues unload a truck of paintings with Parker�s aid? Or wil

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Mass Market Paperback, 176 pages
Published June 28th 1985 by Avon Books (Mm) (first published 1972)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kemper
“So Mr. Parker, how can our employment agency help you?”

“Things haven’t been going well with my old job, and I’m thinking about a career change.”

“Let’s take a look at your resume… It says here that you’ve been a professional thief most of your adult life. You’ve got some experience and skill with firearms, false identities, auto theft…. And you’ve done some very impressive jobs, Mr. Parker. I’m surprised you’re looking for another line of work.”

“I’ve had a terrible string of bad luck. A loose en
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James Thane
Jul 22, 2012 James Thane rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction, parker
Richard Stark's amoral protagonist, known only as Parker, is low on cash and looking for work. Parker specializes in planning and executing elaborate heists and this inevitably involves working with others. Sadly, not all criminals are as talented and trustworthy as Parker and this means that his first task in planning any job is ensuring that those around him are dependable and up to the task.

This can occasionally be a problem, and that's certainly the case as this book opens. A man Parker know
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Dan Schwent
A hijacking job goes south when George Uhl rears his ugly head. On top of that, Parker gets involved in an art heist. Can Parker deal with George Uhl and pull off the art heist?

Parker's run of bad luck continues in this one. The first heist goes bad, Parker has to take care of Uhl AND another guy, and the art dealer who hired Parker and company turns out to be in some serious money trouble. Poor Parker. The guy is as unlucky as Dortmunder in the last few books.

The action is fast and furious in t
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Greg
Nov 09, 2011 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
The penultimate of the original Parker novels.

Plunder Squad has quite a few things going on in it. Unlike other Parker novels this one has some side stories going on aside from the usual heist that is the focus of the novels.

An old enemy returns to try to kill Parker. A couple of jobs fall through and another one is executed. Some characters from past novels return, actually some surprising characters, or at least ones I didn't think were necessarily that memorable the first time around to thi
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Erik
Nov 27, 2015 Erik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Hearing the click behind him, Parker threw his glass straight back over his right shoulder, and dove off his chair to the left.”
Jane Stewart
Sep 04, 2013 Jane Stewart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 stars. Pretty good. Not the best in the series but worth reading.

Interesting the way Parker has no normal social interaction with others. A married woman knocks on Parker’s motel door, hoping to get something going with Parker. He won’t even answer the door. And then he packs and leaves the job. He won’t be part of a group that includes a woman like her.

The ending action scene was good - how he got out of a bad situation where he was outnumbered. There were two other good scenes where Parker
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Jim
Another good Parker novel. As usual, a lot happens & Parker is perfectly Parker. The beginning of the book had me wondering as there's quite a glitch in the dates, but otherwise it hung together well. Good reader & the audio volume was a lot better on this one than the last I listened to. i can't wait for the library to get more of the series.
Martin
Jul 21, 2016 Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the longer of the original 16 Parker books, this book weaves two smaller stories together: one in which Parker tries to correct a past mistake and kill George Uhl (from The Sour Lemon Score); and another in which we see Stan Devers (from The Green Eagle Score) join the string for a great heist story involving a truck full of paintings. I like that Richard Stark is pulling threads from previous books and taking care of loose ends (in George Uhl's case, anyway). Parker has a bad streak goin ...more
David
Oct 23, 2011 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noirboiled
After taking a kind of vacation in Slayground, Parker gets back to work in Plunder Squad, and it is, as always, the kind of book that Starklake does best: a slice of life from the career thief. Whereas Slayground was a set piece, Plunder Squad is tangle of events from the ongoing story of Parker's criminal career. And it is, as well, the clearest evidence you could want that Parker is a pure sociopath: Any sane person would work in a McDonald's rather than deal with Parker's problems.
Tosh
Feb 12, 2011 Tosh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Parker book I read where I had to put it down to read something else due to work. And I didn't bother to re-read the first part again, I just got into it right away. I love this Parker because everything turns out bad. Parker is still highly professional and deadly, but ....things are now more funky. In fact it is professional way of doing business saves him in the end of the day. Nevertheless people die, money doesn't get made, and things get worst. There is a humor strain tha ...more
Piker7977
Sep 21, 2016 Piker7977 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
Economic downturns stretch everybody a little thin, especially art dealers and heistmen. Parker finds himself short on funds and looking for a job. Just when he thinks he is on to something good, an unexpected complication arises in the form of a loose end he neglected to take care of on a previous job: George Uhl. Uhl’s appearance complicates Parker’s role in a couple of heists and requires our anti-hero to take care of this nuisance once and for all before he can move on with his next job. In ...more
Eric_W
Dec 13, 2010 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Then there were fifteen minutes of small-talk. Parker never took pleasure in that kind of thing, but he knew other people found it necessary and he'd trained himself to take part in it.”

Parker was the wonderful creation of Donald Westlake, writing as Richard Stark. All of Parker titles are being reissued by the University of Chicago Press. I’ve read many over the years, bought a couple more than once because I couldn’t remember which ones I had read (pre-Goodreads,) but never-mind, they hold up
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Randy
Aug 09, 2010 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
things hadn't gone well for Parker recently. He'd had to hide the take from the last job in order to escape, and it would be a long while before the hear died down. Then during the first meeting of the crew for a new job, the last man in takes a shot at Parker, killing one of the others, and igniting a running gun battle. An old enemy, George Uhl, that Parker, in a rare moment, had let live, caused that job to die. Time sensitive, it would be another year before it could be tackled.

The next job
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Theresa
Jun 18, 2013 Theresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crimes
The only thing that could make the Parker novels more perfect would be if Donald Westlake were still alive enough to be writing more. So if anybody knows a little necromancy, I'd like to see him as some kind of undead author lich, churning out novels into eternity. My birthday is in August. I eagerly await the fulfillment of this request.
Jim A
Dec 14, 2013 Jim A rated it really liked it
Other than Parker being Parker, it's always fun to see if Parker and his merry band of thieves can actually get away with the swag. In some novels he does, in others he is thwarted by circumstances or by partners that have their own idea of 'fair'. Whatever the outcome, getting to the end game of the novel is a fun read.
Nanosynergy
Classic Parker. Lucky to escape with his life from this heist. But if I were him, I would start to consider another career path given his on-going lack of success on the dark side of the pursuit of earning a living.
John Hood
Jun 12, 2011 John Hood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bound: A Six Pack of Kickass

A Half Dozen More Heist Books from Richard Stark

SunPost Weekly August 5, 2010 | John Hood
http://bit.ly/doqxmv

Gotta luv the folks at University of Chicago Press. Not only have they decided to bring back Richard Stark’s belovedly badass Parker novels, but they’ve been doing so in sequence, with a niftily packed series that smacks back to the ’60s beginning and — Zeus-willing — won’t let up till its 21st century end.

The beginning, for those few who don’t know, was The H
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Chi Dubinski
Jan 09, 2017 Chi Dubinski rated it it was amazing
Professional thief Parker is looking for George Uhl, who double crossed him on a previous job. Woe be to anyone who crosses Parker--it will not end well.
Alex Gherzo
Nov 12, 2013 Alex Gherzo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For the past few years I've made my last book read each year a Parker book. I didn't get to for 2013 as I was reading quite a large book over the Christmas season (and I tend to read rather slowly; I like to savor) that I didn't finish until after New Year's. So I made my first book of 2014 the next on my list of Richard Stark's amazing series. It was a great way to start the new year. Plunder Squad is vintage Parker, fast-moving and violent, with some great Parker moments. It continued with a t ...more
Steve Isaak
Oct 22, 2014 Steve Isaak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*Loosely linked crossover novel with Joe Gores' novel Dead Skip *

Plunder is another favorite-for-this-reader entry in Stark's Parker series. It not only varies up the usual Parker storyline in a taut and thrilling way, it brings together familiar faces from previous novels in this series: Ed Mackey, one of Parker's cheerful semi-regular heistmates; Dan Kearny*, a P.I. who crossed paths with Parker prior to the main storyline of The Hunter ; George Uhl, a murderous thug Parker encountered in T
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Justin Sorbara-Hosker
Another good one; the ones where Stark breaks the mold a bit always seems to result in the best entries in the series. Reading them in order is much preferable to picking them up scattershot (which one certainly can do) - really looking forward to Butcher's Moon, the last of the original run.

Believable - jobs get set up, then loused up & don't actually happen, old loose ends that require attention reappear, & generally nothing seems to go right for Parker. Perhaps the most realistic in
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Serge Pierro
Dec 20, 2016 Serge Pierro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
It is interesting to note that in "Plunder Squad" Parker's past catches up to him with the appearance of George Uhl and we finally get to see another "blast from the past" Stan Devers partake in his first major heist with Parker since "The Green Eagle Score". And while those two certainly add quite a bit to the storyline, it is the large assortment of newer characters that capture your interest, as usual.

This is the penultimate book in the original series and it seems that Stark/Westlake is th
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Debbie J
I guess there's usually at least one bad apple in the bunch and Plunder Squad is it, in my opinion. The story is rather a letdown, especially for ace thief Parker.

The key heist scene is well-written despite seeming a bit implausible. Nonetheless, Parker's a pro and he knows how to get the job done; he just can't account for other people's hidden greed or momentary stupidity.

I did enjoy seeing the return of several characters from earlier Parker books. Their comments are often subtle references t
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Mike Jensen
Feb 24, 2014 Mike Jensen rated it it was ok
What a strangely structured book. The first third has nothing to do with the rest, except in a comedy of errors way. Thief Parker is close to broke and needs a big score. Things keep falling through, but an old acquaintance tries to kill him. Parker must track the guy down and kill him first, if Parker can find him.

While the other plot overlaps slightly in the way that Stark (really Donald E. Westlake) chose to tell it, this book is almost two novellas. The caper that will fill the rest of the
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Tim Niland
Jan 13, 2011 Tim Niland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-reads
This novel should be titled A Study In Frustration because whatever the ultimate thief and anti-hero Parker tries to set for a score falls through, leaving him angry, frustrated and low on funds. After a couple of jobs fall through due to an ambush and personal problems, Parker is forced to eliminate one of his rivals that he allowed to live during a rare moment of compassion in a previous novel. Finally Parker and colleagues settle on an ingenious heist of an armored car loaded with precious ar ...more
Ed
Jan 23, 2011 Ed rated it really liked it
I have been reading mysteries and crime novels for decades and have somehow not read Donald E. Westlake until now; odd because he is one of the most prolific writers of the genre. Richard Stark is one of his many pen names and "Plunder Squad" is part of a long series of Parker novels. It is the story of a heist--actually the story of several months in the life of a professional criminal who does hijackings and armed robberies always as part of an ad hoc crew that comes together for a specific cr ...more
zackxdig
Parker has an old for who he let love come back to try and take him out. But knowing Parker he gets him after the attempts at Parker's life. The heist in ribs is about paintings with big money, but not having all the resources to sell these hot commodities afterwards is the problem. On top of that the middle man who Parker and his friends were going to sell the 21 paintings took a stupid loan with be mob, who of course had their high interest rates. The mob come to collect what is owed after the ...more
V.
Dec 14, 2012 V. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This started well and seemed to be going in a new direction with characters popping up from older books. But the Uhls storyline didn't seem to have much to do with the heist (except maybe thematically) and once he was out of the way he was forgotten.

To be honest it felt like two separate shorts stuck together and even though the art heist part was as well written and exciting as any in this series, it was very quick and straghtforward (in the style of the series, although obviously there were a
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Ed
Aug 17, 2012 Ed rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
#15 in the Parker series. Just when you think nothing else can go wrong, it does p- and fascinatingly so in the hand os master craftsman Richard Stark (the late Donald E. Westlake).

Parker is on a losing streak as Plunder Squad begins. George Uhl (last seen in The Sour Lemon Score) louses up a job and tries to kill him. The next possible job is amateur hour, and Parker walks away. Needing money, he signs on to a high-risk art theft. A top-notch team is assembled, including Ed Mackey and Stan Deve
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Alecia
Sep 03, 2011 Alecia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again, reading a Parker novel is, for me, a guarantee of excellent, tight prose, a fantastic amoral "hero", and wonderful plotting. I love the way these books usually start, no wait, and take the reader right into the action. Here is the first sentence: " Hearing the click behind him, Parker threw his glass straight back over his right shoulder, and dove off his chair to the left." I also love Parker's disdain for small talk amongst his companions in crime, only doing so at a bare minimum b ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Parker (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • The Hunter (Parker, #1)
  • The Man With The Getaway Face (Parker, #2)
  • The Outfit (Parker, #3)
  • 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)

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