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Nobody Runs Forever Hardcover – November 23, 2004

32 customer reviews
Book 22 of 24 in the Parker Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. You just can't get good criminal help these days. That's what Stark's heist-meister Parker quickly discovers as he tries to make a score to repair his sagging finances—no doubt wounded by recent economic ills. First, the plan of would-be hijackers of dental gold in Cincinnati turns to rubbish when one of the conspirators is found wearing a wire. Then a genial idiot with a workable plan for a robbery during a bank merger is found to be carrying too much emotional baggage, especially in his sexual connection to the wife of one of the bankers. And finally, a coldhearted bounty hunter who's almost as good at his job as Parker is threatens everything when he stumbles across the bank robbery scheme while looking for the wire-wearer. Stark (aka MWA Grandmaster Donald Westlake) offers lots of bleak fun as well as intriguing physical details of the illegal variety and righteously sharp descriptions of people we pass every day on the street. A sentence like "She wasn't slender; she was bone thin, and inside the stylish clothes she walked with a graceless jitteriness, like someone whose medicine had been cut off too soon" nails the banker's wife in an instant. This stellar series just gets better and better.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–When a game of seven-card stud among a group of criminals produces a potential police informer with a communications device taped to his chest, Parker loses no time in strangling him. The group cancels its heist plans and breaks up, but Parker and three others soon reconvene. With inside information from the wife of a local bank president, they plan on robbing an armored car. Parker and his cohorts manage to pull off the job and stash the cash, but the cops are hot on their trail. Action scenes provide motion and movement. Characters often seem sketchy at first, but they round out as the story unfolds. Even the secondary figures stand out as clearly defined individuals, and their roles, which may be small, remain key elements in the plot. The tension builds with the thieves' reactions as the story winds tightly toward the ending. Stark's careful control over every element results in a fascinating novel, a look at the true price of crime, and an opportunity to enjoy another book by this master writer (aka Donald Westlake).–Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press; New title edition (November 23, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892967986
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892967988
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #574,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By the gunner VINE VOICE on November 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nobody Runs Forever

When he saw the one called Harbin was wearing a wire, Parker said, "Deal me out". They were playing seven card stud. Parker should have walked away right then. It didn't get any better. This was one capper that was snake-bit from the get go.

Could this be Parker's Waterloo?

I think Donald Westlake writing as Richard Stark is just playing with us. Maybe he'll get a jury from Los Angeles and get off all together.

As usual Stark is very entertaining with his fast paced tough guy. This time robbing a bank's vault's contents as it is being moved to another larger bank via armored cars.

Highly recommended for Parker fans.

As far as I can tell the other Parker books are:

1) The Hunter (1963; AKA Point Blank, Payback; Parker, by Richard Stark).
2) The Man With the Getaway Face (1963; AKA The Steel Hit; Parker,
3) The Outfit (1963; Parker, by Richard Stark)
4) The Mourner (1963; Parker, by Richard Stark)
5) The Score (1964; AKA Killtown; Parker, by Richard Stark)
6) The Jugger (1965; Parker, by Richard Stark)
7) The Seventh (1966; AKA The Split; Parker, by Richard Stark)
8) The Handle (1966; AKA Run Lethal; Parker, by Richard Stark)
9) The Rare Coin Score (1967; Parker, by Richard Stark)
10) The Green Eagle Score (1967; Parker, by Richard Stark)
11) The Black Ice Score (1968; Parker, by Richard Stark)
12) The Sour Lemon Score (1969; Parker, by Richard Stark)
13) Slayground (1971; Parker, by Richard Stark)
14) Deadly Edge (1971; Parker, by Richard Stark)
15) Plunder Squad (1972; Parker, by Richard Stark)
16) Butcher's Moon (1974; Parker, by Richard Stark)
17) Comeback (1997;
18) Backflash (1998; Parker)..
19) Nobody Runs Forever (2004; Parker)

Gunner November 2007
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on October 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In a Cincinnati hotel room, seven buddies play poker intending to discuss a heist. Parker, sitting out the hand, gets up, takes off his tie, and wraps it around the throat of Harbin who is wearing a wire. Dalesia and Mott pretend the game is still on as Parker kills Harbin. McWhitney, who brought Harbin to the game, disposes of the body. The game breaks up with Fletcher pretending to be Harbin informing the others he will clean up. Stratton thanks "Harbin" as they all leave.

However, Dalesia and Parker, who have a bit of history together, talk about being out of work. Dalesia says he has a somewhat risky idea for a heist of over a million dollars being transported by four armored trucks guarded by twelve security agents. Parker wants in though he understands that the prime risk comes from two key "rookies", the banker's wife and a former bank employee, neither of which can keep their enthusiasm nor fears quiet. Meanwhile Harbin's partners hunt for him by tracking the poker players. Now the gang, Harbin's partners, and Police Detective Gwen Reversa rendezvous with four armored-cars.

NOBODY RUNS FOREVER is a typical exhilarating Parker tale that leaves no prisoners from start to finish. Parker displays his professionalism from the onset as he calmly kills the informant in the opening scene and continues on that criminal path that makes him a popular antihero. Though his partners are so tyro and unprofessional that long term fans would doubt he would try the caper with them, all things considered readers will appreciate Richard Stark's latest Parker thriller.

Harriet Klausner
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Matt Hetling on March 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Consummate professional thief Parker is at it again.

He's been drawn into a bank heist that seems irresistible, despite his initial misgivings about the involvement of civilians who have a web of emotional attachments that could affect the plan at any time.

This is one of the most complex of the Parker novels I've read, with many competing interests and motivations. Besides Parker and his three partners, there's a suicidal doctor, a shaky ex-con on probation, the ex-con's sister, a bank manager's wife, a pair of bounty hunters, and a female police detective, who is both unusually attractive and unusually sharp.

With all of these elements rattling around (and a few others that I haven't mentioned), it's hard to imagine that everything will go smoothly, and the final fifty pages or so are steeped in tension and foreboding that will keep you turning pages until you hit the end.

As for the ending itself, it's kind of a cliffhanger. I've only read a handful of Parker novels, and didn't expect to be left hanging like that, but I'll withhold my criticism on the assumption that the next book will pick up where this one leaves off. If it doesn't, I'll be sorely disappointed (and a little confused as to why Stark would fail to wrap things up).

As always, the main attraction is the character of Parker, who is the ultimate practical-minded thief. He's driven by logic, but is still able to think creatively to solve the problems the plot throws at him, and keeps moving like the shark that he is.

Don't make this your first Parker novel, but definitely consider it worthy of the series, which keeps us coming back for more.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tracy D. Rosselle on January 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I've read only a couple of the original Parker novels but all of the ones since Richard Stark resurrected the series with "Comeback" in the late 1990s. I'd say this is the best of the lot -- and by a fair margin. "Nobody Runs Forever" is a pitch-perfect gem of a noir crime novel.

From the opening scene (it takes Stark less than a page before Parker is choking a man to death) to the novel's final sentence, Stark crafts tension onto every page. Stark (Mystery Writer of America Grand Master Donald Westlake's most notable pen name) has never written more powerfully. He can accomplish so much with so few words, and no one -- save perhaps Elmore Leonard -- writes better dialogue.

What sets this novel apart from even the high standard of his earlier work is the beautifully realized complexity of the secondary characters. Stark paints the whole "heister" milieu superbly, as you would expect. But there's a richer atmosphere on these pages, a certain mood that arises from the desperate motivations of several characters: the ex-con and his amateur insider who help set up the armored car robbery that's at the heart of the plot; the bounty hunter and his beautiful backup who want to find the man killed by Parker in the first chapter; the doctor and his lover who want a piece of the heist; the arms expert, who's shaken from an earlier job gone bad, who Parker enlists to supply the weapons for the robbery. That the story plays out in a relatively short crime novel is a tribute to Stark's superior writing ability. The ending doesn't resolve things in a tidy bundle, but then Parker novels never end that way. You can bet there'll be another installment forthcoming, and you can bet it'll be a dandy.
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