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Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Seventh: A Parker Novel (Crime)


by Richard Stark  (Author), Luc Sante (Foreword)

Publisher : University of Chicago Press; Reprint edition (August 15, 2009)

Softcover, 168 pages

Amazon Listing

“It was as convoluted and twisted as a Chinese puzzle. The police were looking for the Canaday killer. A group of professional bandits was also looking for the Canaday killer. And the police, to round it off, were looking for the professional bandits. If the Canaday killer were looking for either the police or the bandits, then everything would be tied in the ultimate knot. Well, they all had to start bumping into each other pretty soon. Too many people were milling around in the same restricted area; sooner or later they had to start making contact.”

I came to the Parker series late, never even having heard of the series until the Darwin Cooke (RIP) graphic novel adaptations started to come out. After devouring those in a gulp, I was curious about more of them. Now that the good Mr. Cooke has passed beyond, I decided to read the actual source itself - GASP!, I know- the unthinkable. Luckily, the University of Chicago Press has recently - more or less - republished all twenty four volumes of this series.

Author Richard Stark

The Seventh, also the seventh novel of a series, follows the aftermath of a perfect score, where Parker and six others rob the proceeds from a college football game. Only afterwards is Parker robbed and the woman he was shacked up with is killed. This begins Parker’s savage hunt to regain his seventh of the split and find out who was behind it all. One of his own crew? Or a random stranger.

This is a pretty straightforward slam-bang novel. The plot is the center of the story, and the idea of character development is laughable - except in the sense when they go from alive to dead. You do get a sense of each member of the crew, but very briefly. Parker is still the same stone-wall brutal killer as in all the other novels. There are no real twists or turns, the plot has revelations, but not gimmicky ones.  If you’re looking for a quick crime novel, then take a gander at the Seventh.

  For more readings, try books by Rex Hurst

Original Paperback Cover

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