By: Richard Stark
(Hardback / 288 Pages / Mysterious Press / ISBN: 089296779X / $23.95)
Description: Tired of do-gooder heroes saving the day? Meet Parker, a one-man wrecking crew; cunning, fearless, and more than just a little cold-blooded. Writing again under hard-boiled alter-ego Richard Stark, 'Mystery Writers of America' Grand Master Donald E. Westlake returns to the violent world of his legendary criminal creation with 'Breakout.'
Verdict: For those who like their heroes to be above reproach, steer clear of Richard Stark. But for those who like some edge in their (anti)hero, check out 'Breakout.' Stark's hero, Parker, is an amoral criminal mind who always seems to end up in nail-biting, fast-paced adventures.
In the newest installment in this series (40 years and counting), Parker is whiling away his time in the Stoneweldt Detention Centre after a botched heist. Knowing Parker as we do, of course he will not abide captivity for very long, and he plans his escape with two of his jailmates. The only hitch is that after they break out, they plan to knock over a jewelery store. Parker's typical mayhem ensues as he and his buddies leap through both figurative and literal hoops in their quest for freedom.
With each successive Parker book, Richard Stark gives his fans not just a good taste of the criminal mind, but a rollicking adventure as well. The Parker series are escapist fiction at its very best and 'Breakout' is no exception.
Definitely not to be missed.
Reviewed by Russ Trunk