Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Dirty Money-Richard Stark

Dirty Money
Richard Stark
Grand Central, Apr 2008, $23.99
ISBN: 9780446178587

Master thief Parker cannot believe how much went wrong when he and his two partners robbed an armored car (see NOBODY RUNS FOREVER). Not only was the loot no good as it was "poisoned" by authorities, the cops caught one of his cronies Nick Dalesia when he tried to use the DIRTY MONEY. Nick escaped but killed a marshal. Parker fled Massachusetts leaving the two plus million behind hidden in a loft of an abandoned rural church as he heads to Long island to regroup knowing that the cop murder places Nick in a different zone from robbery. He assumes the third partner McWhitny will agree with his assessment.

Bounty-hunter Sandra Loscalzo knows that Parker is the means to her getting a cut of the loot. Though he knows she is on his tail and so are other less moral souls from both sides of the law, Parker decides the time to return to Massachusetts to collect the money is now. All he needs is a plan to elude law enforcement, miscreants, and Sandra starting with the Holy Redeemer Choir van.

This is a direct follow up to NOBODY RUNS FOREVER, but though DIRT MONEY can stand alone it behooves fans to read the first book because references back to that tale become more meaningful. Long time readers will find a different Parker in this crime caper as he is much more subdued than usual; an apropos reaction to the robbery fiasco and murder. This is an entertaining crime caper with the antihero seeking more than just the stolen cache, he tries to regain his swagger as he lost some of his moxie when he fled Massachusetts empty handed.

Harriet Klausner