Did you know Lee Marvin, Robert Duvall and Mel Gibson played Parker.
What is Richard Stark’s Parker series about?
Written by American novelist Donald E. Westlake (1933-2008) under the pseudonym Richard Stark, the Parker series is a classic crime series.
This is about Parker, a ruthless career criminal, a heister, a pro, the best of them. He is the one you want if you plan a robbery, but you don’t want to cross him. Parker is relentlessly focused, cold, methodical, smart and really tough.
Parker Books in Order:
- The Hunter – Parker roars into New York City, seeking revenge on the woman who betrayed him and on the man who took his money, stealing and scamming his way to redemption.
- The Man With the Getaway Face – Parker goes under the knife, changing his face to escape the mob and a contract on his life. Along the way he scores his biggest heist yet: an armored car in New Jersey, stuffed with cash.
- The Outfit – Parker goes toe-to-toe with the mob—hitting them with heist after heist after heist—and the entire underworld learns an unforgettable lesson: whatever Parker does, he does deadly.
- The Mourner – Hot on the trail of a statue stolen from a fifteenth-century French tomb, Parker enters a world of eccentric art collectors, greedy foreign officials, and shady KGB agents.
- The Score – Parker works with a group of professional con men on his biggest job yet—robbing an entire town in North Dakota.
- The Jugger – Parker travels to Nebraska to help out a geriatric safecracker who knows too many of his criminal secrets. By the time he arrives, the safecracker is dead and Parker’s skeletons are on the verge of escaping from their closet—unless Parker resorts to lethal measures.
- The Seventh – The heist of a college football game goes bad, and the take is stolen by a crazed, violent amateur. Parker must outrun the cops—and the killer—to retrieve his cash.
- The Handle – Parker is enlisted by the mob to knock off an island casino guarded by speedboats and heavies, forty miles from the Texas coast.
- The Rare Coin Score – There were only two things about the hit Parker didn’t like. The girl, a little too cool, a little too attractive-a disruptive factor. And Mr. Billy Lebatard, coin dealer and part-time crook. Part-timers were dangerous…
- The Green Eagle Score – With Mary Fusco, newly out of the penitentiary, and a smart alec finance clerk named Devers, Parker plans to steal the payroll for an entire U.S. Air Force base near the Canadian border. Parker knows the score is risky, but he sees a way the odds can be shortened. And like every heist that Parker plans, the job goes sweetly until one thing not even Parker could have foreseen turns the whole thing sour.
- The Black Ice Score – The good guys in a new African nation were missing a treasury full of diamonds. The nation’s corrupt leader had stashed the rocks somewhere in New York City. Now the good guys needed a specialist to get their diamonds back. So they came to the best in the business: Parker.
- The Sour Lemon Score – Bank robberies should run like clockwork, right? If your name’s Parker, you expect nothing less. Until, that is, one of your partners gets too greedy for his own good. The four-way split following a job leaves too small a take for George Uhl, who begins to pick off his fellow hoisters, one by one.
- Deadly Edge – Parker robs a rock concert and the heist goes south. Soon Parker finds himself-and his woman, Claire-menaced by a pair of sadistic, drug-crazed hippies. Parker has a score to settle, while Claire’s armed with her first rifle-and they’re both ready to usher in the end of the age of Aquarius.
- Slayground – The hunter becomes prey, as a heist goes sour and Parker finds himself trapped in a shuttered amusement park, besieged by a bevy of local mobsters. There are no exits from Fun Island. Outnumbered and outgunned, Parker can’t afford a single miscalculation.
- Plunder Squad – The hunter becomes prey, as a heist goes sour and Parker finds himself trapped in a shuttered amusement park, besieged by a bevy of local mobsters. There are no exits from Fun Island. Outnumbered and outgunned, Parker can’t afford a single miscalculation.
- Butcher’s Moon – Back in the corrupt town where he lost his money, and nearly his life, Parker assembles a stunning cast of characters from throughout his career for one gigantic, blowout job: starting-and finishing-a gang war.
- Comeback – Knocking over a highly lucrative religious revival show, Parker reminds us that not all criminals don ski masks–some prefer to hide behind the wings of fallen angels.
- Backflash – Parker is checking out the scene on a Hudson River gambling boat. Parker’s no fan of either relaxation or risk, however, so you can be sure he’s playing with house money-and he’s willing to do anything to tilt the odds in his favor.
- Flashfire – Parker’s in West Palm Beach, competing with a crew that has an unhealthy love of explosions. When things go sour, Parker finds himself shot and trapped—and forced to rely on a civilian to survive.
- Firebreak – Parker goes to a palatial Montana “hunting lodge” where a dot-com millionaire hides a gallery of stolen old masters-which will fetch Parker a pretty penny if his team can just get it past the mansion’s tight security.
- Breakout – Stuck in jail while awaiting trial, Parker builds a network among his fellow cons to assist him in getting out, but when he becomes involved in a heist set up by one of his fellow escapees, they suddenly find themselves on the run.
- Nobody Runs Forever – When Parker goes in on a messy scam—stealing an armored car—with someone he barely knows, as usual the amateurs get in the way of the job.
- Ask the Parrot – Parker’s back on the run, dodging dogs, cops, and even a helicopter. Forced to work with a small-town recluse and a group of fools at a gun club in rural Massachusetts, Parker focuses on getting the cash and getting out. It’ll be a deadly day at the races.
- Dirty Money – Parker’s got a new fence and a new plan to get the loot back from a botched job in Dirty Money, but a bounty hunter, the FBI, and the local cops are on his tail. Only his brains, his cool, and the help of his lone longtime dame, Claire, can keep him one step ahead of the cars and the guns.
Parker by Darwyn Cooke Reading Order:
Darwyn Cooke wrote and illustrated a series of 4 graphic novels based on Stark’s Parker Novels. Those are really great adaptations. Sadly, Cooke died before he had time to make more of them.
- The Hunter – The Hunter is the story of a man who hits New York head-on like a shotgun blast to the chest. Betrayed by the woman he loved and double-crossed by his partner in crime, Parker makes his way cross-country with only one thought burning in his mind — to coldly exact his revenge and reclaim what was taken from him!
- The Outfit – After he evens the score with those who betrayed him and recovers the money he was cheated out of from the syndicate, Parker is riding high, living in swank hotels and enjoying the finer things in life again. Until, that is, he’s fingered by a squealer who rats him out to The Outfit for the price they put on his head… and they find out too late that if you push Parker, it better be all the way into the grave!
- The Score – Parker becomes embroiled in a plot with a dozen partners in crime to pull off what might be the ultimate heist — robbing an entire town. Everything was going fine for a while, and then things got bad. Considered one of the best in the Parker series, The Score is the perfect vehicle for Darwyn Cooke to pull out all the stops and let loose with a book that has all the impact of a brutal kick to the solar plexus!
- Slayground – Parker, whose getaway car crashes after a heist, manages to elude capture with his loot by breaking into an amusement park that is closed for the winter. But his presence does not go unnoticed — a pair of cops observed the job and its aftermath. But rather than pursue their suspect… they decide to go into business for themselves, with the help of some “business associates.”