When George Liss told Parker and Mackey about the job, it sounded too good to be true; four hundred thousand dollars cash, in the hands of a televangelist. Things go south when their inside man spills his guts to a woman and she tells her no good brother. With another gang gunning for the money and George Liss wanting it all, can Parker get the money and get out alive?
Here we are, the first Parker book Richard Stark wrote after 25 Parker-less years. As usual, the caper was well planned. I almost felt sorry for Carmody and Quindero. George Liss made a pretty good foil for Parker, as did Detective Calavecci, who I'm betting will show up again. Mackey and Brenda were okay but mostly bit characters. I'm delighted to say Parker hasn't lost his form and hasn't gone soft. Going up against a guy with two guns armed with only a stubby 2 x 4 and an L bracket in a burning building proved that to me.
So why only three stars? It was good but not fantastic. While Parker didn't lose anything in the 25 years off, I thought the writing was a little more Donald Westlake than it was Richard Stark. It seemed slightly padded and lacked the punch of the earlier books. Don't get me wrong, I still thought it was good and I still enjoyed it. It was just half a step behind the earlier books. I'll definitely be re-reading it along with the others when I run out of Parker books.
Parker fans, you're going to want to read this regardless of what you hear. Just expect it to be slightly less awesome than the earlier books.