Kemper's Reviews > The Black Ice Score

The Black Ice Score by Richard Stark
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May 12, 11

bookshelves: 2011, bad-guys-rule, crime-mystery, thieves, parker
Read from May 11 to 12, 2011

Parker has taken his girlfriend Claire to New York so she can do some shopping, but he gets repeatedly approached by people who think he’s in on some kind of score. An African dictator has fled his country with a fortune in diamonds, and one group wants to hire Parker to plan a way to steal them so they can take them back to Africa and use the money to build the nation up. A group of white colonialists are mad that they got booted out, and want to steal the diamonds to install their own puppet government and reclaim their property. And one con man just wants to steal the diamonds for himself.

This is kind of an oddly flat Parker novel despite having some new elements in it. For one, Parker is hired solely as a planner of the robbery, and Claire is more involved than usual in the story. But in the end, there’s the usual robbery-with-unexpected-twist and Parker improvising at the last minute.

While Parker is his usual no-nonsense self for most of this one, it also shows a few glimpses that there may be a bit more to him than Stark (a/k/a Westlake) has shown before. Claire notes that Parker does have a bit of a taste for the robberies that are a challenge and require elaborate planning which differs from Parker's usual claim that it's all about the money. Parker also seems to care more about Claire than I thought him capable of. I always had the impression that Claire was just kind of convenient for Parker. It made sense that a guy who liked sex but didn’t really like interacting with people would have one steady girlfriend who didn’t bug him and stayed out of his business, but here we get the feeling that Parker may just give a damn about her.

Not a bad book. (I think Westlake was incapable of writing a bad book.) It’s just that Parker doesn’t seem quite as ruthless as usual and to me Asshole Parker = Fun Parker.
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent This was not one of my favorite Parkers.


Kemper Dan wrote: "This was not one of my favorite Parkers."

Yeah, this one would be at the bottom of my rankings too.


message 3: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent You're right about Parker not being a big enough asshole in this one. Claire makes him seem a little soft sometimes.


Kemper Dan wrote: "You're right about Parker not being a big enough asshole in this one. Claire makes him seem a little soft sometimes."

That, and since the guys he worked with actually listened to him and did exactly what he said, he didn't really have to be a jerk to get the job done. He's kind of like a decent project manager in this.


message 5: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent He's much better than the project managers I have to work with.


Kemper Dan wrote: "He's much better than the project managers I have to work with."

Sadly, Parker would be an improvement over my current director. A pistol whipping now and then wouldn't be so bad...


James Thane Agree w/all of the above, although I will have to take your word re: Dan's project managers and Kemper's current director...


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