Richard Laymon Same Vein







RATING:

Date of Release: Sept '98

Publisher: Mysterious Press

Review Source:

COMEBACK & BACKFLASH by Richard Stark

Richard Stark enigmatic anti-hero/thief/killer Parker stands alongside Andrew Vachss' Burke as the single most intriguing series character in hardboiled fiction. Now, after a long-mourned hiatus of 23 years, Parker returned in last year's COMEBACK (now available in an affordable trade-paperback format) and his newest exploit, FLASHBACK...and he's every bit as exciting as we remember him!

In COMBACK, Stark (otherwise known as mystery writer Donald Westlake) tells the engrossing tale of Parker's heist of an evangelical preacher's "offerings" taken from his audience of devotees, an otherworldly sum exceeding $400,000. A touring casino yacht is the setting for FLASHBACK's thrilling robbery scheme. Each novel is replete with Stark's trademark spare prose, tightly-structured storylines liberally dosed with dizzying plottwists and double-crosses and his unapologetic look at characters whose vacuous morality is entirely monetarily based. Along with these strengths is a sense of pacing that's simply second-to-none. A scorching example from BACKFLASH: "When the car stopped rolling, Parker kicked out the rest of the windshield and crawled through onto the wrinkled hood, Glock first. He slid to the left, around the tree that had made the Seville finally jolt to a stop, and listened. The siren receded, far upslope. These woods held a shocked silence, after the crash; every animal ear in a hundred yards was as alert as Parker's." And that's just the *opening paragraph*!

Stark's novels grab the reader by the throat and demand to be read. These two new additions to the unflinching Parker legacy are certainly no exception. Read them - then go snatch up the other 14 installments - you won't be disappointed!

- - Ron Clinton, USA

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