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Deadly Edge: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels) Paperback – September 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Series: Parker Novels
  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226770915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226770918
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #593,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Parker . . . lumbers through the pages of Richard Stark’s noir novels scattering dead bodies like peanut shells. . . . In a complex world [he] makes things simple.”

(William Grimes New York Times)

“Whatever Stark writes, I read. He’s a stylist, a pro, and I thoroughly enjoy his attitude.”
(Elmore Leonard)

“Richard Stark’s Parker novels . . . are among the most poised and polished fictions of their time and, in fact, of any time.”
(John Banville Bookforum)

“Parker is a true treasure. . . . The master thief is back, along with Richard Stark.”

(Marilyn Stasio New York Times Book Review)

“Westlake knows precisely how to grab a reader, draw him or her into the story, and then slowly tighten his grip until escape is impossible."

(Washington Post)

“Elmore Leonard wouldn’t write what he does if Stark hadn’t been there before. And Quentin Tarantino wouldn’t write what he does without Leonard. . . . Old master that he is, Stark does all of them one better.”
(Los Angeles Times)

“Richard Stark writes a harsh and frightening story of criminal warfare and vengeance with economy, understatement and a deadly amoral objectivity—a remarkable addition to the list of the shockers that the French call roman noirs.”
(Anthony Boucher New York Times Book Review)

"Parker is a brilliant invention. . . . What chiefly distinguishes Westlake, under whatever name, is his passion for process and mechanics. . . . Parker appears to have eliminated everything from his program but machine logic, but this is merely protective coloration. He is a romantic vestige, a free-market anarchist whose independent status is becoming a thing of the past."
(Luc Sante New York Review of Books)

"I wouldn't care to speculate about what it is in Westlake's psyche that makes him so good at writing about Parker, much less what it is that makes me like the Parker novels so much. Suffice it to say that Stark/Westlake is the cleanest of all noir novelists, a styleless stylist who gets to the point with stupendous economy, hustling you down the path of plot so briskly that you have to read his books a second time to appreciate the elegance and sober wit with which they are written."
(Terry Teachout Commentary)

"If you're a fan of noir novels and haven't yet read Richard Stark, you may want to give these books a try. Who knows? Parker may just be the son of a bitch you've been searching for."
(John McNally Virginia Quarterly Review)

"The University of Chicago Press has recently undertaken a campaign to get Parker back in print in affordable and handsome editions, and I dove in. And now I get it."
(Josef Braun Vue Weekly)

"Whether early or late, the Parker novels are all superlative literary entertainments."
(Terry Teachout Weekly Standard)

“The UC Press mission, to reprint the 1960s Parker novels of Richard Stark (the late Donald Westlake), is wholly admirable. The books have been out of print for decades, and the fast-paced, hard-boiled thrillers featuring the thief Parker are brilliant.”
(H. J. Kirchoff Globe and Mail)

About the Author

Richard Stark was one of the many pseudonyms of Donald E. Westlake (1933–2008), a prolific author of noir crime fiction. In 1993, the Mystery Writers of America bestowed the society’s highest honor on Westlake, naming him a Grand Master.


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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I highly recommend this book to all mystery crime lovers.
W. Easley
Just a dark hard edged unsentimental story swiftly told, with good insight into the people swept up in Parker's path.
Ken Braithwaite
I wish that Donald Westlake a.k.a. Richard Stark had written dozens more Parker books.
Robert Kurtz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By W. Easley VINE VOICE on June 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
Deadly Edge, by Richard Stark (a.k.a. Donald Westlake) is more action packed than previous Parker novels. Deadly Edge begins with Parker and his team of thieves stealing the receipts of a rock concert. As usual with Parker, it is a masterful plan where they sneak into the accounting room undetected, and escape before authorities become aware that a crime has occurred. The team makes it to their pre-arranged hideout, divides the loot, and after a few days each goes his separate way.

As in all Parker novels, something goes wrong. The first hint is when they get to their hideout, they discover the dead body of a man who had been on the team but was unable to participate due to problems of his advanced age. Nobody has a clue who killed him, but they assumed they would be safe once they split and disappeared from the scene.

Parker has rules designed to prevent a caper from failing. He works only with professionals, discusses the job only with members of the robbery team, and will not allow a person to quit who is knowledgeable about the job. In this story Parker makes the mistake of letting someone know the plan's details who was not in on the job.

Deadly edge turns ugly as two men track each team member separately and kill them. Who could do this? How could they obtain secret information concerning where each member of the team resides? Parker conducts a hunt to find and eliminate this threat as he must protect his money, his woman, and his pride.

Deadly edge is a more violent novel than those earlier in the series. It has constant action and suspense. We read about intricate planning and use of tactics by Parker in this attempt to win his cat and mouse game.

Deadly Edge is one of the better Parker stories.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ken Braithwaite on January 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
Some of the other reviews here reamrk the series is getting old by the end (this one comes near the end). That's true but for someone new to the series that does not matter. Of the 60s and 70s Parker books I liked this one the best. No silly stuff about The Outfit or ex-Nazis. Just a dark hard edged unsentimental story swiftly told, with good insight into the people swept up in Parker's path. Stark's strength is that while he shows little violence he shows the effects of violence, and that is a strong theme here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dave Wilde on August 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
"Deadly Edge" may be the most violent of all the Parker novels. It is also one of the best. Parker and several cohorts, using axes, break into a rock concert, the last concert ever at a civic auditorium, no advance sales, cash only on the night of the show. These must be a bunch of older guys because, as they are breaking in, they can be heard complaining about the music, preferring jazz to rock. It is explained that Parker has a speciality and that is, strangely enough, "handling people, which meant keeping them quiet, make sure that none of them got killed, making sure none of them loused up the routine." Odd to think that the taciturn Parker is the one who is good at handling people, but he is the consummate professional. There are always, however, issues with every caper and this one is no exception, starting with the bodies that are piling up in the aftermath of this caper and the nasty dudes out to cut themselves into a piece of the pie. And nasty is right because these guys "weren't sane and they were barely human beings."

One of the interesting things about "Deadly Edge" is that there are scenes of domestic bliss as Parker and Claire start to make a life together, although Claire has decided she doesn't want to know anything about his jobs, none of the messy details. Claire was only attracted to guys whose lives were dangerous, airline pilots, racecar drivers, and Parker. Most of the time Parker "didn't think about it, but every once in a while he realized she was important to him." Parker thought the cottage Claire had found was nice, but he wondered how it could be defended with all those doors and windows, not with a rifle, not with a dog. Parker only understands vaguely about her idea of having a home. It just wasn't something he thought about.
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By BJD on May 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a real addicting series. You can't really describe Parker; if you did he would sound like a psychopath, but he is no. He just lives by a totally different set of rules. He makes his living with Crime. He is highly intelligent and highly ruthless, but he does have his own code of honor.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Along with The Sour Lemon Score, this must be the darkest of all the Parker novels. Whereas The Sour Lemon Score had brutish Matt Rosenthal maiming and beating and killing his way through innocent lives, Deadly Edge has a couple of pitiful drifters, one of them a junkie, maiming and torturing their way through the string of thieves with whom Parker just pulled a job. They want the loot, and they’ll do anything to get it. Horrible and degrading as it is, the story is also tight, spare and gripping in the Stark (Westlake) style. Most notable is probably the moment when Parker, trying to come up behind the drifters, phones his woman Claire and warns her to vacate their house for a while. She refuses. Parker mulls it over and decides: it’s her choice. He can’t go there and wait, he has to continue to try and pick up the drifters’ trail. He essentially chooses his ‘method’ rather than run to protect his ‘loved one’. That’s Parker all over: an ultra-clear-thinking and single-minded sociopath.

Anyway, things go badly at the house, obviously, and the action is pretty horrifying. Take a shower after reading.

Four stars.
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