I've been a HUGE Parker fan for years and welcomed Stark's return a couple of years back. If you liked the earlier "Score" novels, you will find the newest additions to the Parker saga to be just as well written.
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4,6 von 5 Sternen
5,0 von 5 SternenAlbany to Poughkeepsie and back
30. März 2012 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
I have been trumpeting my enthusiasm for Stark's Parker series in general now for a while, but have not reviewed each volume. Backflash has been such a delight of immoral entertainment that I need to break my 'silence' for it. The plot: New York state has allowed river boat gambling on the Hudson. A ship has been moved from Biloxi to Albany for the purpose. Parker assembles a team of professionals and robs the boat during its initial phase of operations, while it is still operating on cash basis. (If that is a serious possibility I don't know and don't care. I take it for granted.) Security arrangements are intense, and hence the job is complicated, involving unfortunate outsiders both on the upstream and downstream side of the project, if you accept that I use the river flow picture in a double sense. The man who provided the details that are needed to plan the heist turns out to be leaky, as does the river rat who is hired to help with the escape. In consequence, competition shows up from both ends of the process. Parker's projects rarely go without trouble. The planning and execution phases are garnished with a series of individual portraits, not just of the robber crew, but of many people involved one way or the other. There is the retired state employee who hates gambling so much that he inspires criminals to attack the boat: see, I told you it would attract crime! There is the assemblyman who has opposed the gambling license in the state assembly and whose identity will be stolen by Parker's team. There is the chief stewardess of the boat with her manipulative expertise. There is the local reporter who sneaks in on the boat under cover. There is the rogue cop who needs to run from the law and hopes to collect retirement funds as parasite to Parker's project. There is the former jailbird who makes his living as a weed farmer on the river edge. And so on. Each miniature a delight, and all woven into the plot with surprising efficiency. Parker at his best.
Parker just keeps getting better. Backflash, the eighteenth Parker novel, is an action thriller that rivets the reader's attention from the first page until the last.
Backflash begins with Parker and his friend Howell in a bad automobile accident. He and Howell had just finished a successful score and Howell lost control of their car during the escape. Since Howell was encased in the wreck and severely injured he asked parker to leave him and make his own escape. Parker complied.
Soon after he gets home, Parker receives a call inviting him to discuss a larger caper and Parker agrees to listen. The new score is complicated. A retired public employee asks Parker to rob a gambling boat that has just begun operations on the Hudson River. Although the job appears very dangerous, Parker agrees to look it over.
How does a person rob a gambling boat that: only comes to shore twice in any cruise; is heavily loaded with security on the boat; has a large group of state police gather at both ports? How can Parker rob the gambling profits from a system that only allows games using chips and sends the money for each purchase of chips through a pneumatic tube into a money room that is locked and bolted from the inside and allows no exit or entry during the cruise?
Richard Stark writes an engaging novel. The description is outstanding as he makes the boat seem real, and the small towns along the Hudson come alive with precise detailed descriptions. Stark uses careful economy of words to enhance the feeling of constant action.
Backflash is an exciting story of intrigue and rapid action. I highly recommend this novel to those who like well written crime novels.
Donald Westlake, writing as Richard Stark, crerated one of the great noire protagonists, Parker (no first name) in a series of novels which he unexpectedly ended in 1974. Parker is a thoughtful sociopath, a criminal planner willing to kill - but only if necessary. Happily, Westlake/Stark decided to continue the series in 1997 with Backflash, showing that he could bring Parker up to date with a 2 decades-later society. Parker had always gone for the cash, but now finds cash harder to find.... until he hits upon the idea of robbing a casino boat travelling on the Hudson River. Assembling some of his old hands, he plots for the job, and the story ensues.
Westlake is a master of tight writing, his dialogue can be compared to Hemingway, and his tone matches the best of the 40's noire fiction writers. A tremendous pleasure to find a continuation of the series. While each book stands on its own, I find that one has a better feel for the characters by reading them from the beginning. But you can't go wrong with any one.