Dan Schwent 's Reviews > Butcher's Moon

Butcher's Moon by Richard Stark
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Mar 08, 11

bookshelves: hardcase-writers, westlake, 2011
Read from March 02 to 07, 2011

Short on cash, Parker and Grofield return to Tyler to get some money Parker stashed in an amusement park. But the money isn't there and signs point to the local mob, which is in the midst of a power struggle. Whichever party comes out on top had better remember that when Parker is owed money, he always collects, one way or another...

I'd been waiting for over six months for Butcher's Moon to be reprinted by University of Chicago Press. Was it worth the wait? Hell yes!

Butcher's Moon was the last Parker book of the original run and there's a feel of finality to it. Parker and Grofield go to work getting back the money Parker had to leave behind in Slayground and run afoul of the local syndicate. When Grofield gets shot and taken captive and Parker gets one of his fingers in the mail, Parker takes it personally and calls in a slew of favors.

Practically all of Parker's partners from the previous books who weren't double-crossed and/or killed in the previous volumes show up to lend a hand and share in the score, even Handy McKay. Parker is as relentless and ruthless as ever. The power struggle within the Tyler mob was well done, as was Parker's masterful way of taking them out.

As usual, Stark's clipped style moves the story along with the pace of an out of control freight train. Butcher's Moon is twice the length of most Parker tales and has three or four times as much action. The final shootout at the end is well-worth the price of admission (at the U of C price, not the hundreds the earlier printings fetch.)

"But I'm only the messenger!"
"Now you're the message," Parker said and shot him.

Classic Parker.

Any complaints? Not really, although I was expecting a higher bodycount among Parker's crew. I was half-hoping Parker would leave with the entire take from the score and leave his crew in the lurch. The ending would have been a fitting ending to the entire Parker series but I'm glad Stark wrote eight more, even if it did take him 25 years.

If you're a Parker fan, Butcher's Moon is not to be missed, especially at the Amazon price for this University of Chicago reprint.
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Reading Progress

03/02/2011 page 1
0.0% "The eagle has landed!"
03/04/2011 page 3
1.0% "Good intro by Lawrence Block. Guess I'm not going to get anything done tomorrow morning..."
03/07/2011 page 170
53.0% ""But I'm only the messenger!"
"Now you're the message.""
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Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 new)

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message 1: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent I've been reading the Parker books in order for over a year now and they're one of my favorite series. Butcher's Moon was really hard to find at a reasonable price until it was reprinted and re-released a few days ago.


message 2: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Alberto wrote: "I've just started reading the series from the beggining in the University Of Chicago Press reeditions. I'm waiting for the second one to arrive, after reading The Hunter"

Those are the editions I'm reading up to and including Butcher's Moon. I have all of the newer ones already and have been waiting forever to read Butcher's Moon and the later ones.


Mohammed Oh god i forgot this one was suppose to come out now !!!


message 4: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Mohammed wrote: "Oh god i forgot this one was suppose to come out now !!!"

It came out way before I thought it was supposed to. For some reason, I was thinking April 15th. It shipped February 28 from Amazon.


Mohammed Maybe that was why it tricked me. I was expecting April as usual.

I had missed Parker so much that i was thinking about re-reading the first books and i dont almost never re-read.


message 6: by Randy (last edited Apr 04, 2011 02:20AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Randy Been waiting for this one. it's the only one I haven't read and the only one I don't own a copy of since THE PLUNDER SQUAD came out in the fall. Those two were just to pricey for me on the used book sites, though i own original editions to the others as well as the University of Chicago Press releases.

I wonder if they plan to re-issue the Grofield novels. HCC brought out a new edition of LEMONS NEVER LIE, the fourth and last one. The first three are high on the used sites.


Mohammed Randy wrote: "Been waiting for this one. it's the only one I haven't read and the only one I don't own a copy of since THE PLUNDER SQUAD came out in the fall. Those two were just to pricey for me on the used boo..."

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/...

disgustingly cheap and 25% off in that site.


message 8: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent It was something like 8 bucks plus shipping on Amazon. Sure beats $400.


message 9: by Lou (new) - added it

Lou i have first edition of this in hardback going to check it out in near future.


message 10: by Lars (new)

Lars Guthrie Great reviews on the Parker books and elsewhere...man, you read a voluminous amount of hard-boiled crime and sci-fi!


message 11: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Thanks for reading. Since I phased out TV except for three or four shows, I have a lot more time to read.


Mohammed Hehe your complaint is not a complaint really. Plus Parker leaving his crew in a lurch ? That would mean you have not read any of the 15 books because the only time he is loyal is to people he works with. I thought this was the best Parker book along with Slayground,Hunter.


Randy Mohammed,
They don't have them and will hold your money for a long while before admitting it.


Mohammed Randy wrote: "Mohammed,
They don't have them and will hold your money for a long while before admitting it."


You mean complaints ?

What do you think of the others after this one ? I know it wont be same quality as BM but i hope the 60-70 years old DEW is wrote fun,thrilling Parker books.


message 15: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Mohammed wrote: "What do you think of the others after this one ? I know it wont be same quality as BM but i hope the 60-70 years old DEW is wrote fun,thrilling Parker books. "

I've read Comeback and Backflash. They're good but some of the punch is gone from the prose. They feel more like serious Donald Westlake books than Richard Stark books.


Mohammed Dan wrote: "Mohammed wrote: "What do you think of the others after this one ? I know it wont be same quality as BM but i hope the 60-70 years old DEW is wrote fun,thrilling Parker books. "

I've read Comebac..."


Well its natural after 18,19 books. I will hope for midlevel Parker books and not as hardcore as the best early Parkers. Its natural from 70s on he wrote alot of Dortmunder,other comic,fun crime.

I enjoy his comic works so i wont be disappointed if the last 8 Parkers are not the best in the series.


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