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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great Parker score
The robbery of an armored truck goes fine, but the loot is less than expected. One of the robbers decides that he wants the whole pot and tries to kill his partners -- but Parker gets away. Since he had never worked with the heister before, Parker has to chase down many loose ends to locate his money and gain his revenge.

Parker is not at his most ruthless in...
Published on March 1, 2006 by D. Rahmel

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read
Fast moving and realistic, this book kept me turning the pagees. While I wanted to get to the end of the story, I hated not having any more to read, so I bought several more of his stories.
Published 18 months ago by Sandy Lee


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great Parker score, March 1, 2006
This review is from: The Sour Lemon Score (Paperback)
The robbery of an armored truck goes fine, but the loot is less than expected. One of the robbers decides that he wants the whole pot and tries to kill his partners -- but Parker gets away. Since he had never worked with the heister before, Parker has to chase down many loose ends to locate his money and gain his revenge.

Parker is not at his most ruthless in this one. In fact, he even demonstrates some compassion in one excellent, interesting scene. This Parker story really kept me going. It's brief and the pages speed by. There is more sex in the story than usual, but it's tasteful and very well written. Be sure to add this one to your Parker collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Manhunt, June 3, 2011
By 
W. Easley "Opa" (Colorado Rocky Mountains) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Sour Lemon Score: A Parker Novel (Paperback)
Richard Stark (a.k.a. Donald Westlake) wrote a different Parker in the Sour Lemon Score. Usually in a Parker novel, we read about the idea for a job, the gathering of a team, and the plan for accomplishing a dangerous task. Sour Lemon Score, begins with the execution of a robbery of an armored car and bank, and follows the adventures of team members in post robbery activities.

The bank robbery goes off without a hitch, except the newest team member, Uhl, became nervous. The escape to a safe house is flawless. Then all hell breaks loose.

Uhl wants the entire catch and attempts to kill the other members of the team and get away with all the loot. Parker, avoids Uhl long enough to escape the trap. Then a fascinating manhunt begins with Parker the hunter and Uhl the game.

Parker is one of the best anti heroes in literature. He is a criminal and sometimes violent. He steals and kills and appears self centered. Somehow we cheer for him anyway. Parker is a master planner and an extraordinary leader of crime teams. Parker's plans are brilliant and his execution effective. Something, however, always goes wrong and Parker frequently needs to clean up after some person or random event interferes. In The Sour Lemon Score, the unexpected problem is Uhl, and Parker knows he must put things right.

The Sour Lemon Score is an excellent novel. For me. this is not the best of the Parker series as I prefer those where we observe Parker building a plan. But this text is still a superior book I recommend this story for anyone who likes crime drama.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Parker Gets Bitter Toward Those Who Try and Kill Him and Steal or Want to His Money, November 10, 2010
By 
James N Simpson (Gold Coast, QLD Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Sour Lemon Score: A Parker Novel (Paperback)
Twelfth novel in Donald E Westlake's (a.k.a. Richard Stark) sensational Parker series, The Sour Lemon Score is pure vengeance novel. Parker's part of a four man criminal gang who rob a crate of money being carried from a bank's vault to an armoured car outside. Heist goes smoothly, even with a panicking member. Unfortunately that panicking member of the group, George Uhl, brought along his own plans to murder the other three at the isolated farmhouse where they were to lay low until the heat died down, and take all the cash for himself. Of course as the main character of this series Parker narrowly escapes with his life, but he's in for a long hungry wait and walk until he can escape the area and likelihood of arrest. This of course contributes to the anger and desire for revenge on Uhl, and to get his money back. Problem for Parker though is that since Uhl was pretty much a rookie, and brought in by a dead member of the group, it's not going to be easy to track him down, so Parker's going to have to do a lot of legwork, and make a few people unhappy along the way.

The Sour Lemon Score has a lot of action, and lot of inside the head reasoning and thought patterns of Parker and also uses a lot of nice nostalgia references to really illustrate the time it is set in (it was originally published 1969). Such as a radio voice saying the old "this just in" line before reporting on the robbery. A gun dealer asking Parker if he'd like string put around the boxes containing guns he'd bought (like we're asked if you'd like a bag today). During the initial robbery one of the criminals yelling 'stick em up" and the victims not even laughing one bit at the line. Parker makes a few stupid mistakes that maybe he wouldn't make in other books in this series, a lot coming from him being rather impatient at times such as not wanting to wait a few hours for a go between to return to his store. You do also wonder why he wasn't just shot and killed in one scene as later in the book that character admits he has no qualms with murder and the alternative is a lot less convenient than simple murder, plus they'd know Parker will just come back for revenge. Without these things the enjoyable plot wouldn't work though.

Next novel in the series is Deadly Edge.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the darker Parker novels, April 24, 2014
There's always violence in a Parker novel, but in this one the violence is darker and more unsettling than usual. Plenty of innocent people get swept up in the violence of The Sour Lemon Score, including George Uhl's ex-girlfriend, and George's old buddy, Ed Saugherty, and his poor family. Years later, Westlake wrote a kind of follow-up novel, showing that Ed's wife and family more or less made out OK despite the destruction of their life. I enjoy the Parker series immensely, as it's some of the finest, grittiest, leanest crime writing ever, but this one left me feeling kind of dirty. It's almost a horror story in some respects.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Would You Think You Could Get Away With Doublecrossing Parker?, July 7, 2014
This review is from: The Sour Lemon Score: A Parker Novel (Paperback)
The Sour Lemon Score is the 12th book in the Parker series by Donald Westlake, published under the name Richard Stark. It is among the best of the Parker books.

Parker is a thief, a heister, a hijacker. He is known as being cold, professional, emotionless.

He is the best at what he does.

But Parker has his own notions of morality and they include standing by your word and dividing the loot equally. He is not sadistic or vicious. He only does what he needs to get the job done.

Knowing all this about Parker (and he's fairly well known in his circles), you'd think most folks would be hip to what happens when you doublecross him. Well, George Uhl apparently didn't get the memo.

Following a well executed bank robbery, Uhl turns on his three accomplices and makes off with all the dough. This opening sequence that sets the premise of the book is terrific. There is a whole novel just packed in that opening sequence.

The balance of the book is devoted to Parker catching up with Uhl, chasing him from Bew York to Virginia to Pennsylvania. Along the way, other bad guys get wind of what Uhl is carting around and the race is on.

Despite what Parker does in this story, he's not the bad guy here. He's almost an angel compared to some others in this book. The plot, the pacing, everything just works in this book as does Westlake's uncanny ability to create characters in just a sentence or two.

If you are ready to start reading Parker, this would be about as good a place to start as any. But I wouldn't stop here.

I
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 ˝ stars. I liked getting revenge, and I liked Parker's detective mystery solving., May 17, 2013
By 
Jane (Chicago, IL, United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
THE SOUR LEMON SCORE by Richard Stark.

The bank robbery is a short section at the beginning. Then one of the group (George) kills the others and takes all the money. The problem is when he tried to kill Parker, he missed. So the rest of the book is watching Parker survive the double cross and then hunt George in various places across the country. I had no idea how Parker would be able to find someone who was on the run and in hiding, but he does. Good suspense, interesting writing, very enjoyable.

A mother and children are held hostage by someone other than Parker. It's a small part of the story and did not end badly. But some readers might want to know.

There is a forward by Dennis Lehane (dated 2010) in the paperback. I was disappointed that the forward was missing from this audiobook.

The narrator Stephen R. Thorne was good, but I wish he had a rougher, darker, or more menacing voice for Parker. His Parker voice was too clean cut and normal sounding.

THE SERIES:
This is book 12 in the 24 book series. These stories are about bad guys. They rob. They kill. They're smart. Most don't go to jail. Parker is the main bad guy, a brilliant strategist. He partners with different guys for different jobs in each book.

If you are new to the series, I suggest reading the first three and then choose among the rest. A few should be read in order since characters continue in a sequel fashion. Those are listed below (with my star ratings). The rest can be read as stand alones.

The first three books in order:
4 stars. The Hunter (Point Blank movie with Lee Marvin 1967) (Payback movie with Mel Gibson)
3 ˝ stars. The Man with the Getaway Face (The Steel Hit)
4 stars. The Outfit.

Read these two in order:
5 stars. Slayground (Bk #14)
5 stars. Butcher's Moon (Bk #16)

Read these four in order:
4 ˝ stars. The Sour Lemon Score (Bk #12)
2 ˝ stars. Firebreak (Bk #20)
(not read) Nobody Runs Forever (Bk #22)
2 ˝ stars. Dirty Money (Bk #24)

Others that I gave 4 or more stars to:
The Jugger (Bk #6), The Seventh (Bk#7), The Handle (Bk #8), Deadly Edge (Bk#13), Flashfire (Bk#19)

DATA:
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Unabridged audiobook length: 4 hrs and 5 mins. Swearing language: for the love of God used twice. Sexual content: twice referred to, one of them has two men together. Setting: around 1969 various U.S. locations. Book copyright: 1969. Genre: noir crime fiction.
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4.0 out of 5 stars When the world gives you lemons...., June 20, 2014
The sour lemon score is a great early Parker story. Four men, not well known to one another rob a bank. All are murdered shortly after by one of their own. All except one;

Parker.

What follows is Parker working the angles, dodging bullets, and tracking down the partner who made off with his money.

The sour lemon score is a blunt, brutal story that doesn't waste time or words.

Enjoy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars solid Parker novel, August 23, 2013
This review is from: The Sour Lemon Score: A Parker Novel (Paperback)
Parker and three accomplices robs the bank and then go to an abandoned farm, where they have to sit out and share the loot. In the house one of the accomplices, George Uhl, kills two others and almost kills Parker, but Parker manages to jump out of the window, however, losing his gun. Hiding in the woods, Parker, unarmed, can only watch as Uhl sets fire to the house and one of the cars, and leaves on the other.

Parker gets to the town, where there was a robbery, asks Claire to wire him money and leaves twon. Parker needs to find the son of a bitch Uhl and pick up the share that belongs to Parker. The search is complicated by the fact that Uhl is relatively new in the game, he was only in for six robberies and no one really knows him or anything about him.

This is a solid Parker novel, at the same time an example of that Parker has mellowed in Gold Medal books. For example, moneyless and gunless Parker does not have to rob and steal: Claire wires him money. He even buys, not steal cars. Or take a truth serum, first used on Parker and then by Parker. What are the chances that Parker would use serum instead of fists? This serum is clearly from the repertoire of Westlake, not Stark.

If you do not pay attention to these "soft spots" then The Sour Lemon Score is quite a solid read. The plot has a few borrowings from the previous books, but it's not really a shortcoming.

The Sour Lemon Score is often regarded as the best of the four Gold Medal Parkers, but I will name the best The Green Eagle Score, more unexpected and more violent book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Parkers: an exceptional read., July 25, 2013
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One of the most frequent recipes in the Parker series is a robbery that is successfully executed, but is then followed by mishaps, usually due to the greed or inadequacy of one or more of the "string" of professionals put together for the occasion. Parker is his usual (rather predictable, cartoonish) self and, mainly because of this, after a while, the stories tend to become repetitive in what is essential for holding the readers' interest in the characters and in the plot. The Sour Lemon Score is a very welcome exception to this: the successful robbery followed by mishaps is certainly there, at the beginning of the book; but after this interlude the plot becomes a tale of hunting and revenge, where the characters (and even Parker himself!) are developed by the author with unusual richness and depth, without this interfering even for a second with the pace and suspense of the narrative. The result is a gripping and violent story, exceptionally well-told, and completely freed of the déja vu effects present in some of the previous (and subsequent) books of the Parker series. Whatever you think of the Parkers, do not miss this one: an exceptional read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love the "Parker" books., May 3, 2013
By 
Phillip Rogers (Fort Smith, AR United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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Parker is one of the greatest characters in crime fiction. He's a force of nature and Stark writes him expertly.
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The Sour Lemon Score: A Parker Novel
The Sour Lemon Score: A Parker Novel by Richard Stark (Paperback - May 15, 2010)
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