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What's In A Name?
on October 14, 2002
Joe Sheer, a fine old man, retired safecracker (jugger), has been Parker's contact man for years. Parker receives a disquieting letter from Joe and wonders if he is getting a little old for the job. Parker decides to pay him a visit, not to present a gold watch, but perhaps to help Joe along to his eternal rest. The usually overly careful Parker flies to Sagamore, Nebraska to have a hands-on visit with Joe using his clean-as-a whistle alias, Charles Willis.
Picture Smalltown U.S.A. Friendly folks, picket fences, nicely clipped lawns, tree shaded lots, porch swings, and you have Sagamore. Now picture deadly purposeful Parker strolling down the sidewalks. Neither one of them are quite ready for the other. Alas for Parker, there is no heist this time, Joe is already dead, and the local and state police are taking far too much interest in Charles Willis. Parker has to put his superb planning abilities in high gear to settle the natives, and solve the mystery of Joe's alleged buried fortune. Parker's sole interest in this is to get Charles Willis back to Miami unknown and uninvestigated.
This is a fine Parker outing where Parker is the only one in Sagamore with good sense, and with much exasperation has to lead the law to the truth. To get the job done, a few homicides happen, and a left over lady with "the eyes of a pickpocket and the mouth of a whore" helps him out. "The Jugger" is best read after you have read a couple other Parker novels for background. For all other Parker aficionados, this is choice.