Thursday, November 18, 2010
FFB: The Green Eagle Score by Richard Stark
As has been noted by many Friday Forgotten Book posts in the past, Richard Stark (a.k.a. Donald Westlake) is hardly forgotten.... at least by us, and assorted comic book fans who are currently discovering the world of Parker via the Darwyn Cooke graphic novel versions of the Parker series. The latest installment The Outfit just hit shelves and while I have my copy I haven't read it yet. I even mentioned Parker in my last FFB post..
Today's book, The Green Eagle Score, isn't even out of print, the copy that I am reading right now is from the The University of Chicago Press reprint series of the Parker books..... but what I am seeing as I read it is the kid. Yep the kid, one of the main characters Ellen has a 3 year old daughter who plays in the yard while Parker and his crew plan their heist of an Air Force Payroll. What strikes me is the simple question where is she now? The book was written in 1967 and so it's safe to assume it's set during that time period, so now in 2010, that little girl (assuming she has survived) would be pushing 45 years old. What's her story, she as a jail bird heist man father in Parkers crew member Marty, and a mother who seems to keep taking up with guys who have a taste for the life--- so what kind of life did Pam have? what was her world like at 18 years old. 1982 is a year I recall, but I have no clue what it was like for a 18 year old girl. Was she a punk, a criminal, a druggie? did she end up with some weird cult or a disco queen? I don't know, but it's one of those loose ends that will have me up all night thinking about the possibilities. Is she Parker from the show Leverage... or Parker's mother?
I know, I know, it's just a crime story. One of the Stark books with the Plotting and the heist and all of the Parker being Parker, but also being psycho-analysed by proxy. That's right a head shrinker is hearing about Parker and the wheels are turning, as I am sure from the point of view of a Shrink, Parker has to be a hell of a lot more interesting than a bunch of house wives and spoiled kids.
At this point I have to point out that as I type this I am 92 pages into the 173 page book and the well, thing that's going down.... I saw it coming-- but I am along for the ride, it's a Parker novel, I have yet to find one that isn't worth the ride, that isn't worth seeing how it all plays out.
Anyway, it's not one of those Parker books that people talk about as being their favorites, or a turning point for the Stark storytelling or anything like that. What I can say is that it's solid, and it's sparked my interest in the long term story or Parker and his crew. Where do these guys end up? What and who are they in 2010 and what have they left in their wake?
Since writing the first draft of this post I have finished the book, and it's good to see that Pam survived (not that I am going to get into the rest of the stories payoff...) and I am still wondering where is she now? And not just her, where are the rest of the characters that Parker came into contact with back in the day, the kids, the women, the motel clerks and the weirdo's who sold him guns and put up the money for the heists??? The truth has a way of coming out--- often enough, I am thinking there had to be one of those Unsolved Mystery segments from the 1980s that were looking for a man known only as Parker.
You can find all kinds of Parker stuff over at The Violent World of Parker
More Forgotten Friday Books over at Patti Abbott's blog
Also of note is the SFF Audio podcast episode 082 which features a discussion of the Westlake book Memory.