The Black Ice Score (Parker #11)
A corrupt African colonel has converted half his country's wealth into diamonds and smuggled them to a Manhattan safe house. Four upstanding citizens plan to rescue their new nation by stealing the diamonds back—with the help of a “specialist”—Parker, that is. He has the best references in town. Will Parker break his rule against working with amateurs and help them because...more
Reading one of Parker's exploits is like visiting an old friend. Parker is himself in this one, although maybe Claire's making him a little soft. The heist was well-planne...more
In this one Parker gets involved in some tiny African countries political landscape and is hired to help plan a robbery to steal back the countries riches from the current president who is trying to steal it all for himself. It's the most far-fetched plot in all of the Parker novels so far--seriously, the entire wealth of the country...more
Parker is a hardened professional criminal who has virtually no moral reservations about the crimes he plans and commits, even when he must occasionally kill someone who gets in his way. He may be...more
This isn't my favorite of the Parkers by any stretch but it IS a Parker book, thereby making it a worthwhile read. I would suggest this...more
THE SET UP:
There are three groups of guys from a small African nation. The A guys work for the President. The B guys work for a General who plans to take over with a military coup. C is a guy who stole millions from the African treasury and converted it to diamonds. C’s people are holding the diamonds for him in New York City.
The A guys pay a fee to Parker to plan a heist and teach them how to do it -...more
Parker acts as a "consultant" (?!) to a group of African ambassadors in NYC who are trying to steal back diamonds from their corrupt dictator in order to restore stability to their country. Not a typical Parker set-up!
I have to believe that BLACK ICE was a major influence on the Dortmunder novel THE HOT ROCK, as it has many of the same elements (African nation and embassy, precious gems to be recovered, etc.). Westlake said in an intervi...more
As usual, complications ensue as Parker is asked to help some foreign nationals steal some diamonds. Parker becomes a little more personally involved than usual, and it leads to a compelling denoument. There are a few rough spots here and there, particularly when it steer...more
This varied from Parker's usual heists in that he was brought in as a consultant. All the great action & twisty plot, though. Excellent as usual.
It's definitely the case that the arrival of Claire means less of the Parker we've known -- his ritual is different, and for all her toughness, she ends up causing trouble. This many years after The Thin Man, I would have hoped he'd have more of an equal as a partner.
Anyhow, the book's about a diamond heist related to an African nation that uses a Manhattan museum as a hideaway. Parker ha...more
In the first of that series (The Hot Rock) there is a similar African nation needing to get hold of a diamond. In that story, comedy ensues, in this one we seemed to go down a familiar path of thinsg gone awry and Parker sorting them out.
Since the addition of Claire, Parker isn't quite the hard case he once was and the jo...more
Parker finds himself caught between two rival African gangs in the hunt for diamonds in this rollicking quick read (it's more of a novellette than a novel). Written in 1968 it's attitide towards race is more modern than I expected it to be, although...more
His clients are supporters of a hopeful Black African leader who intends to win election and replace the current president--a figurehead controlled by White former colonists. Parker has exactly zero concern about African liberation politics but his girlfriend Claire en...more
When they finally left, still warning him to stay away from the job, and he'd made sure Claire was fine in the bedroom, the phone rang. A voice wanted to know if he'd taken the job.
For one, Parker is hired as a consultant, which as readers know by now won’t last. The novel straddles that construct, making Parker less of a participant but also less of a teacher...more
A Half Dozen More Heist Books from Richard Stark
SunPost Weekly August 5, 2010 | John Hood
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...more
Followed by The Sour Lemon Score.
(This review originally appeared on the Reading & Writing By Pub Light site.)