Kemper's Reviews > Butcher's Moon

Butcher's Moon by Richard Stark
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
405390
's review
Jun 13, 12

bookshelves: 2012, bad-guys-rule, crime-mystery, parker, thieves
Read from June 06 to 13, 2012

This is a notable book in the Parker series because for a long time it looked like it’d be the last one that Richard Stark (a/k/a Donald E. Westlake) ever wrote since it was over twenty years before he finally did another one.

This one is also a personal milestone since it’s the last Parker novel that I haven’t read before. Westlake died a few years ago, so that means it’s the last new Parker novel I’ll ever read.

Stupid death.

As a personal ending point for me, it’s a humdinger though. Parker has been on a string of bad luck with all his potential scores going sour, and he’s hurting for cash. He decides to go back to where he left a bag of loot hidden in an amusement park while on the run from gangsters and dirty cops in Slayground. And by amusement park, I mean that Parker amused himself by killing everyone they sent into the park after him.

Fellow thief Grofield was in on that heist and Parker asks him to go along and help get their money back, but when they find it missing from the spot Parker stashed it, he thinks the local criminal kingpin’s people must have found it after he left. When Parker decides that you’ve got his money, he’s going to get it back one way or another.

After the situation escalates, Parker eventually calls in a crew for a bit of stealing and revenge, and this leads to a kind of review of past novels with characters from previous jobs Parker has pulled showing up. There’s also a feeling that this one is calling back to the beginning of the series where Parker had gone up against a large group of criminals to get back what he felt he was owed.

It hit me in this one that although Parker has always been seen as an anti-social bastard who only cares about the money, that he has gone out of his way for the few people that are the closest things he has to friends on a few occasions. He has also earned a lot of respect from his fellow thieves for his bold jobs and never double crossing anyone. You’d almost think that Parker is getting soft in his old age. Until he starts murdering a whole bunch of people.

This is yet another great book about one of the legendary anti-heroes of crime fiction. I just wish there were a couple of dozen more new ones waiting for me to read.
21 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Butcher's Moon.
sign in »

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

message 1: by Mike (new)

Mike                                              I just bought this--and I've been sitting on it, for the same reasons: it'll be the end of (new) Parker for me. I'm excited by your rave...


Mohammed Up to this book which is the last Parker read of mine i still think he is anti-social coldhearted bastard. Becuase the only people he trust,helps is the people he can count on in heist jobs. The people he needs to do his work. He has never shown any feelings,warmth for the close ones that might look like his friends.

I respect Parker for that.


message 3: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent I'm going to say this is the last really good Parker. The ones Stark wrote after the 20+ year hiatus just aren't as good.


Mohammed Dan wrote: "I'm going to say this is the last really good Parker. The ones Stark wrote after the 20+ year hiatus just aren't as good."

As long as they are enjoyable im okay because most of the 15 first books are great noir books like this one. I would have been satisfied with 10 Parker books let alone 15-24.


message 5: by Kemper (last edited Jun 15, 2012 12:42PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kemper Mike wrote: "I just bought this--and I've been sitting on it, for the same reasons: it'll be the end of (new) Parker for me. I'm excited by your rave..."

I think it's one of the best of the series. Sad when you get there, but it makes for a nice ending for 'new' Parker for people like us.


Kemper Mohammed wrote: "Up to this book which is the last Parker read of mine i still think he is anti-social coldhearted bastard. Becuase the only people he trust,helps is the people he can count on in heist jobs. The pe..."

Parker's bastard nature is one of the great attractions of the series to me.


Kemper Dan wrote: "I'm going to say this is the last really good Parker. The ones Stark wrote after the 20+ year hiatus just aren't as good."

Been a few years since I've read any of the later ones, but if my memory of them is correct, I agree with you. I 'm going to keep going and see how they rate after reading/re-reading the series in order.


message 8: by Mohammed (last edited Jun 16, 2012 05:17AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mohammed Kemper wrote: "Mohammed wrote: "Up to this book which is the last Parker read of mine i still think he is anti-social coldhearted bastard. Becuase the only people he trust,helps is the people he can count on in h..."

Yeah and thats why i proudly tell everyone who wonders about the series that Parker is my alltime favorite literary character. No one comes close really and is as fascinating to me. My alltime favs has been at times from the range of Sherlock Holmes,Solomon Kane, Conan, The Continental Op,Cugel. Parker has been untouched as my fav of them all since i read him in 2008.

My password to open my Macbook pro laptop is Parker!


James Thane I agree with Dan that the latter Parkers are, for the most part, not as good as the earlier ones. But I would argue that they are still very good books. Stark set such a high standard in the earlier books that it would be difficult for him to match that over the course of 24 books.

I know what you mean about reading your last "new" Parker. Silly as it is, I've owned Dirty Money since it was first published, but I continue to save it because I can't bear to think about the fact that once I read it I will never have another fresh Parker story. (Is that lame, or what?)


back to top