You probably haven't ever noticed them. But they've noticed you. They notice everything. That's their job. Sitting quietly in a nondescript car outside a bank making note of the tellers' work habits, the positions of the security guards. Lagging a few car lengths behind the Brink's truck on its daily rounds. Surreptitiously jiggling the handle of an unmarked service door at the racetrack. They're thieves. Heisters, to be precise. They're pros, and Parker is far and away the best of them. If you're planning a job, you want him in. Tough, smart, hardworking, and relentlessly focused on his trade, he is the heister's heister, the robber's robber, the heavy's heavy. You don't want to cross him, and you don't want to get in his way, because he'll stop at nothing to get what he's after. Parker, the ruthless antihero of Richard Stark's mystery novels, is one of the most unforgettable characters in hardboiled noir. Lauded by critics for his taut realism, unapologetic amorality, and razor-sharp prose style - and adored by fans who turn each intoxicating page with increasing urgency - Stark is a master of crime writing, his books as influential as any in the genre.
The University of Chicago Press has embarked on a project to return the early volumes of this series to print for a new generation of readers to discover - and become addicted to. This season's offerings include volumes 4-6 in the series: "The Mourner", "The Score", and "The Jugger". In "The Jugger", Parker travels to Nebraska to help out a geriatric safecracker who knows too many of his criminal secrets. By the time he arrives, the safecracker is dead and Parker's skeletons are on the verge of escaping from their closet - unless Parker resorts to lethal measures.
Richard Stark is one of the many pseudonyms of Donald E. Westlake, prolific author of noir crime fiction. In 1993 the Mystery Writers of America bestowed the society's highest honor on Westlake, naming him a Grand Master.