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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Misadventures of Parker
Unlike the linear "Slayground," the previous volume in the Parker series, Plunder Squad's all over the map. The first half of the book almost reads like a few short stories, linked by Parker's on-going search for someone who tried to kill him. We follow along as Parker goes from one botched job to the next, all the while waiting for any information that will bring him...
Published on January 22, 2003 by Joe Kenney

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3.0 out of 5 stars A Fun-to-Read Parker, but plods along, doesn't grab you.
Topic line says it for me. This Parker novel had a special place in the series according to the experts, glad I read it, but it wasn't a 'grabber'.
Published 3 months ago by GRob


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Misadventures of Parker, January 22, 2003
Unlike the linear "Slayground," the previous volume in the Parker series, Plunder Squad's all over the map. The first half of the book almost reads like a few short stories, linked by Parker's on-going search for someone who tried to kill him. We follow along as Parker goes from one botched job to the next, all the while waiting for any information that will bring him closer to his target.
Once that thread's taken care of, the second half of the book kicks in, and here Parker almost becomes a secondary character. We meet and follow his associates in an art heist, one which starts off fairly well but goes downhill fast. The mob gets involved, and Parker has to figure out a way to get out with both some money and his life.
A quick, enjoyable read, but more of a dark comedy than a crime caper. Doesn't have nearly as much action as "Slayground," but then again it has a more dynamic narrative.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, November 13, 2007
Of the original Parker novels by Richard Stark (a.k.a. Donald Westlake), this is one of the best ("The Hunter", "The Score", and "The Sour Lemon Score" being 3 others that round out the top 4). It is the next-to-the-last book in the series' original run and is a joy to read from beginning to end. It starts off as usual with a heist gone bad and then moves along at a quick pace, aided by a series of vignettes that ultimately brings Parker back in touch with a man he left alive who betrayed him on a previous job, George Uhl (from "The Sour Lemon Score"). The reader doesn't get much time with Uhl in this book, but what makes it so hard to put down is the relentless pursuit of Parker for a) a clean job to make some money, and b) killing Uhl like he should have done in the first place.

As mentioned by other reviewers, this book does not follow the typical linear path of most of the Parker novels. The first half of the book is like being on a wild amusement park ride, while the second half plays out with more of a true ensemble cast rather than Parker as the typical chief protagonist.

There are wonderful little "Starkonian" bits sprinkled throughout this book. As is already mentioned, a scene appearing in this novel also appears in a Joe Gores DKA book "Dead Skip". An excellent supporting cast surrounds the main character, too: some great use is made of a girlfriend of one of Parker's potential partners in a couple of short scenes. And the ending is a typical, but well-written Parker ending.
If you like crime thrillers and hard-boiled novels, this one is a must-read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Plunder Squad trivia note, August 15, 2005
It's been years since I read Plunder Squad, but I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the Parker/Grofield books in this series by Richard Stark (Donald E. Westlake). I recall this being one of the better ones, and I think it was the last to appear in the original series from the '60s and '70s.

An interesting dialog takes place in Plunder Squad, when a private detective named Daniel Kearney shows up at Parker's meeting place for planning the heist. Kearney is looking for one of the other characters, so Parker lets them talk to each other. Kearney is the main character from the DKA series by author Joe Gores, who included this scene in one of his books. In Plunder Squad, the dialog takes place from Parker's viewpoint. In the Joe Gores book (Sorry, I forgot which one it was. I read them decades ago.), the dialog takes place from Kearney's viewpoint. In the Gores book, Kearney even refers to the men as the "Plunder Squad" as he's leaving.

It's the little touches like this that make any of the Richard Stark books interesting to read. You should also look for the books featuring Alan Grofield as the main character. The early Parker books were all reprinted in the mid-1980s, but the Grofield books weren't included in the reprint.

It took decades, but Stark took up the series again in the late 1990s. It was worth the wait.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting Desperate?, July 8, 2011
By 
W. Easley "Opa" (Colorado Rocky Mountains) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Plunder Squad: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels) (Paperback)
In Plunder Squad Parker is set up to get the biggest payday yet. Our antihero plans to steal 21 valuable paintings worth more than a half million dollars. Considering the large number of guards and the superior electronic alarm system, can Parker do it?

Plunder Squad tells the story of three attempted thefts and one tale of an effort to eliminate an enemy. The story begins with Parker dodging a bullet from an enemy, and ends with him trying to survive a different attack. Parker, known for usually having something go wrong, comments "I'm running a string of bad luck."

Parker has rules that guide whether he will participate in a crime. The first theft attempt violates his rule against including unstable team members. The second idea violates his rule against including a woman who might become involved in a love triangle. The third scheme Parker accepts only after he fixes problems he sees in the set up. Is Parker getting Desperate?

Richard Stark fills the pages of this novel with continual action, re-occurring danger, steady suspense and frequent plot twists. The story is so intriguing that I couldn't put it down. Parker's plan for robbing the art collection is dangerous, and complex but believable. The execution of the art theft is impressive and flawless.

I recommend this story for mystery lovers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps Parker Can Start A Career As An International Art Dealer, August 4, 2014
The fifteenth Parker book is "Plunder Squad" and it's about old friends making new appearances and Parker hitting a string of bad luck with jobs going sour in ways that would even surprise the most dedicated Parker reader. George Uhl from "The Sour Lemon Score" reappears and duels Parker. "Stan Devers" from "The Green Eagle Score," where Parker raided an airbase reappears.

One job goes sour and another is worth doing. It is filled with Parkerisms, such as when he spots Sharon in the meeting place and almost calls off the deal right there. She was drama and sexual tension and would create problems between the men. "She was a disaster area with a lid on it."

Parker, we are reminded can't be bothered with small talk. He just wants to get the job done. At a fancy cocktail party which he has been invited to so he can discuss a job with the host, Parker refuses to mingle. Instead, he asks for a quiet room where he can wait.

There is more than one job going on here, including two fabulous art heists. The story has lots of good Parker action, including shoot outs and takeovers and doublecrosses.

It is a good solid Parker story, although not as pointed and discrete as some of the others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plunder squad, May 28, 2013
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This review is from: Plunder Squad: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels) (Paperback)
A tightly paced story that gets right to the action.this is stark as you like to read him.so far I have never been disappointed in any of his stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Parker novels are amazing, May 22, 2013
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This is yet another novel of the Parker series by Richard Stark, and as fascinating as others in the series. For those who are not familiar with them at all, I recommend to start from the beginning ("The Hunter"), as they are rather sequential. However, each one can also stand alone.

Most entertaining! The character of Parker is very vivid.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Entertaining Parker Story, January 6, 2013
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Stark offers wonderful characters and writes in great detail. Despite Parker's competence as a heist man, Plunder Squad once again shows that crime doesn't pay. Another wonderfully planned job gone bad.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Fun-to-Read Parker, but plods along, doesn't grab you., May 30, 2014
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This review is from: Plunder Squad: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels) (Paperback)
Topic line says it for me. This Parker novel had a special place in the series according to the experts, glad I read it, but it wasn't a 'grabber'.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Parker gets to the '70's, September 21, 2013
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John Paul Mendocha (Grand Terrace, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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Good read with fast paced action. Worth the time. Interesting to see how Westlake moved with the times. As all Parker books he has a real hard edge.
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Plunder Squad: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels)
Plunder Squad: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels) by Richard Stark (Paperback - September 1, 2010)
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