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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Simply-A Classic!
Richard Stark is the master of the criminal tale. THis is the followup novel to The Hunter (AKA Point Blank, AKA Payback). After his run-in with the Outfit, Parker undergoes plastic surgery in order to avoid further complications. Parker's next job is an armored car heist. The entire operation is covered in detail from beginning to end. While planning the job, Parker...
Published on January 17, 2001 by Larry Eischen

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars solid crime novel
The story starts off slow, but picks up in the second half of the book. While this is a decent novel, it does not meet the same quality as some of Stark's other Parker novels.
Published on September 7, 2012 by Steve


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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Simply-A Classic!, January 17, 2001
Richard Stark is the master of the criminal tale. THis is the followup novel to The Hunter (AKA Point Blank, AKA Payback). After his run-in with the Outfit, Parker undergoes plastic surgery in order to avoid further complications. Parker's next job is an armored car heist. The entire operation is covered in detail from beginning to end. While planning the job, Parker is tracked by an employee of the doctor who reveals the doctor has been killed. Unless the chauffeur can find the killer, the new faces of his recent customers will be revealed to the Outfit. Parker finds himself in a vise as he goes on with the heist and then has to track the chauffeur in an effort to keep him alive while also uncovering the doctor's killer. AS always for Parker, nothing goes as easily as planned, there is a double cross on the armored car job and the chauffeur gets away from him. This book is a must for those just discovering Parker through the new novels and Mel Gibson's movie. Part 3, featuring the mental meanderings of the punch drunk chauffeur, reveals the slow methodical thought processes while still carrying the story along. The plodding lackey becomes a sympathetic character, maybe the only one in the book, as we follow him on his quest for justice. This book is quite simply a classic of the genre-but then again, aren't all of Stark's novels classics?
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No-Nonsense Criminal, May 30, 2002
By 
Untouchable (Sydney, NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
Most people who have just had their face reconstructed would be inclined to go through a period of mourning as they lament the loss of their familiar appearance. Not so with Parker. Apart from a quick glance in the mirror to make sure he looked different, he is completely unaffected.
This reaction probably best sums up this mysterious and dark character. He always prefers to take the most prudent action rather than be ruled by his emotions, giving him a cold, calculating persona. But these same qualities also make him very efficient and strangely likable.
After receiving his new appearance, Parker goes straight back to work in planning an armoured truck heist. He has some misgivings about the job because it involves someone he has never worked with before, but this is just another contingency for him to plan around. Indeed, it appears that Parker has been built with no reverse gear installed. Once a course of action has been planned, it's full steam ahead and as obstacles rise up, as they inevitably do in this caper, he deals with them head on, scarcely breaking stride.
This is the second Parker book, following his appearance in The Hunter and is a thoroughly enjoyable story. The no-nonsense attitude of Parker, whether it's going ahead with a plan or casually shooting someone in the ankle makes for very entertaining, if a little cold-blooded, reading.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making a buck in the early '60s, March 16, 2002
By 
"curtcow" (Short Hills, NJ USA) - See all my reviews
Donald Westlake writes of Dortmunder, a bumbling petty criminal it's really hard to like. Then as Richard Stark he gives us Parker, a much more competent crook who will kill when he has to, and surprisingly or not, a much more likeable character.
It was written in 1963 when the mob was "The Outfit", Exxon was still Esso and you took the ferry to Brooklyn, not the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. Parker gets a new face from Dr. Adler, a plastic surgeon in Nebraska who was a pre 50s Commie, then goes back to New Jersey for an armored car heist. Skim and Elma, Skim's overbearing waitress girlfriend, set up the heist, develop an unworkable plan that Parker fixes and set up a doublecross that Parker anticipates. All would be fine except Dr. Adler has been killed, and a guy named Stubbs is sent to find the killer.
The interaction between Parker and Stubbs and their search for a swindler named Wallenbaugh, now Wells, take up the rest of the story. Parker's reasons for getting to Wells and going back to Nebraska to square things come from logic only his mind could concoct, but it makes for a fun adventure.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Parker Is Baaaad!, October 15, 2001
By 
sweetmolly (RICHMOND, VA USA) - See all my reviews
Richard Stark (Donald Westlake), where have you been all my life? Yes, I have read and enjoyed the Westlake capers, and particularly liked the deft and humorous touches. Who would have dreamed, this same man could come up with Parker?
Parker is impersonal, a completely professional robber and sometimes murderer. He rarely murders with any passion, unless you consider "irritation" a strong enough emotion to rate as "passion." We are not told where Parker comes from or how he became the way he is. However, he is by no means a robot. He is skillfully presented with many shadings of character.
The title refers to Parker's new face. He has undergone plastic surgery to make himself more anonymous to anyone looking for him. He is quite indifferent to this new face with not a thought to whether it is an improvement or otherwise on the original. The story is a caper that begins dubiously ("too many things to watch out for"), and he is right to be doubtful. In spite of his meticulous planning (a joy to read for sheer professionalism), more and more factors clog up the works. We are saved from a bloodbath because Parker is not a vindictive man.
I marvel at the perfection of the writing; the story flows, everything fits and there are no loose ends (Parker would not stand for that.) It's a fast read, and I am now totally addicted. The Parker books are just coming back into print, and those that are not are usually available used. Come join the fun if you like your mysteries and humor very noir.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect book/movie to switch to Sam Elliott as Parker, February 20, 2008
The Man With The Getaway Face

This book directly follows The The Hunter(aka Payback)

I said in my review of The Hunter that Sam Elliott would make a perfect Parker. Well, this is the ideal book/movie to make the switch.

"When the bandages came off, Parker looked in the mirror at a stranger. He had come to the doctor with a face that the New York syndicate wanted to put a bullet in."

"It costs him a lot But it would be cheap at twice the price if it kept him alive while he did what he had to do. And what he had to do was steal."

Dr. Adler had done a good job.

"Can someone drive me into Lincoln?

May, the Dr.'s nurse said "Stubbs can drive you."

Stubbs said "I dunno I've never driven a Lincoln before." I drive a Chrysler. Stubbs was some what punch drunk from getting hit in the head too many times with a 2X4 as a strikebreaker in his earlier life. REMEMBER Stubbs, you'll see him again.

Because a new face couldn't keep Parker from his old life of crime and kicks...where money was there for the taking, and nobody did it better than Parker.

So begins the second of the Parker books. A series that to date includes:

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)
20) Dirty Money (2008, Parker)

The String included Skimm. Alma, a waitress out at the diner on the highway who was dreaming about all that money, Skimm's girlfriend who was also, the Finger, and my personal favorite, Handy McKay (I wonder if he's still lipping those non-filtered cigarettes?

Highly recommended for Parker fans and for fans of Donald Westlake.

Gunner February, 2007
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Westlake (Stark) is just so damned good!, December 25, 2013
There are several similar authors to Westlake (Stark), and they each have their advantages and attractions.
Elmore Leonard comes to mind, one of my favourites, with 'Get Shorty' and 'Stay Cool', both made into successful films, particularly the former, not to mention many of his other novels. I love them all.
I count Carl Hiaasen ('Double Whammy', 'Skin Tight' etc) among these 'off beat' minor crime novelists; however he presents more of a comedic journalistic approach, concentrating on property developer types etc who are ruining his beloved Florida; with road kill thrown in...
But Westlake seems to cover several fronts. His 'Dortmunder' series; very minor criminals, more amusing than dangerous; then his more serious stuff such as stand-alones like 'The Ax'; and his Parker novels written under the name Richard Stark.
Parker is a serious 'cool' blooded person who earns his living by changing the ownership of money. He doesn't bother with anything else. It has to be instantly usable, untraceable and portable and there's simply nothing better than paper.
He only kills when he absolutely has to, never for revenge or fun because it's too much trouble and you need to make sure you can't be traced. He kills only when there's no option and almost without exception he kills those that are themselves criminals and are stupid enough to make it necessary.
This, I believe, is the second Parker novel. Having read many other Westlake books, I intend on reading many more of these. I just hope they remain as fresh and off beat as this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two Women to Watch, November 17, 2010
By 
Amazon Customer "Opa" (Colorado Rocky Mountains) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Man with the Getaway Face: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels) (Paperback)
Parker, the main character in "The Man with the Getaway Face", is like some heroes in western movies. Parker says little, means what he says, doesn't understand women and thinks women are trouble. In this story he encounters two such creatures.

The story begins with Parker getting a new face (plastic surgery). He does his best to start his career of crime again, and believes that his new appearance will help him avoid his enemies. Instead trouble results.

First, Parker is warned not to kill the surgeon out of fear he might reveal the new identity. If that happens, May, the dead doctors girlfriend insists she will reveal every patient's identity to the police. Parker does not understand her since he has given his word to protect the doctor.

Second, because he has a new face friends do not recognize him. Since he spent so much on the face he is almost broke and must plan a new job. He accepts a job against his better judgment because he does not have time to be choosy. The team he joins do not really trust each other and are reluctant. Alma, a waitress with no crime experience, thought up the job and insists she be in charge - or have a final veto if she doesn't like the plan. Parker does not trust her.

"The Man with the Getaway Face" is a good novel with characters who are well drawn and a story that is interesting. It is an excellent mystery. I recommend this novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow, tense and crippling., February 4, 2014
The Parker series is a project of a deceitful ambition. Richard Stark lifts the veil on his protagonist gradually and never goes faster than Parker's own actions. In THE MAN WITH THE GETAWAY FACE, he is looking for a fresh start, but there isn't such thing as fresh start for an unrepenting career criminal like him.

But if somebody can pull it off, it's Parker. The mysterious thief is looking to support himself after starting a beef with the outfit and undergoing plastic surgery to change his appearance. The job is planned. The score is interesting. It's not perfect. It's flawed enough for Parker to get nervous, but if there's somebody you don't feel nervous about, it's him. The second adventure is slower and tenser than THE HUNTER, yet it digs a little deeper into the bleak world of Parker.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read! But Read it Second., October 24, 2012
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The Man With The Getaway Face is the second of the Parker Novels, the first being The Hunter. Although the Parker series is over 20 books strong, the series is wildly uneven. Some of the titles, like this one, The Hunter, The Outfit and The Score rank among the best and should absolutely be read if crime fiction is your thing.

My only caveat in regards to The Man With The Getaway Face is that you should not read it if you have not read The Hunter first. The first three novels are a trilogy and should be read in order. So, read the Hunter first, then this title and finally The Outfit. After that you can read them pretty much in any order. The ones I would recommend is the Score and The Jugger.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Post-WW2 underworld sociology, September 22, 2011
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This review is from: The Man with the Getaway Face: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels) (Paperback)
We are about 1960. Crime business is largely dominated by the big corporation, whether it is called syndicate or the outfit or the mob, or whatever.
But there is also a lot of independent small scale entrepreneurship. Look at our hero Parker, an experienced operator in the line of robberies. Murder is not his core business, but he doesn't shrink away from it if it is needed in the line of a project or to cover his traces.
On the fringe we have niche businesses like Dr. Adler's: a physician who lost his prosperous SF practice after the McCarthy crowd roughed him up for his red allegiance in the 1930s. Now he does underground work for gangsters who need to change their appearance. Parker gets a getaway face from Dr. Adler.
Another customer of Dr. Adler's is a con man who has swindled people out of their GI Bill allowances by fraudulent real estate deals. When it blew up, he emigrated to Buenos Aires, but he got homesick and came back, with a job from the good doctor.

Main story line is a heist that Parker is running in New Jersey, against an armored car. Side lines are his attempt at staying clear from the mob's revenge (see volume 1, The Hunter; this here is volume 2) and at staying clear from conflicts between the doctor's loyalist support staff and his other customers.
Not as great as volume 1, The Hunter, due to the slightly tedious heist details here, but informative and entertaining. Stark is a master of precise language. A good contribution to an analysis of the years from 1945 to 60.
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The Man with the Getaway Face: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels)
The Man with the Getaway Face: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels) by Richard Stark (Paperback - September 1, 2008)
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