"[One] of the greatest writers of the twentieth century...Richard Stark, real name Donald Westlake...His Parker books form a genre all their own."
--John Banville, Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea
Master criminal Parker takes another turn for the worse as he tries to recover loot from a heist gone terribly wrong. In Nobody Runs Forever, Parker and two cohorts stole the assets of a bank in transit, but the police heat was so great they could only escape if they left the money behind. In this follow-up novel, Parker and his associates plot to reclaim the loot, which they hid in the choir loft of an unused country church. As they implement the plan, people on both sides of the law use the forces at their command to stop Parker and grab the goods for themselves. Though Parker's new getaway van is an old Ford Econoline with "Holy Redeemer Choir" on its doors, his gang is anything but holy, and Parker will do whatever it takes to redeem his prize, no matter who gets hurt in the process.
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Okay, so you steal close to $2 million in bank cash, using heavy anti-tank artillery and a carefully rehearsed plan that leaves several of the peripheral players in deep trouble. But even then the plan does not go right and you have to stash the money in an abandoned church.
Okay, so one of your gang gets caught passing a bill from the heist. The serial numbers are all under surveillance, thus the money has become radioactive, as the lingo goes. So the money is still worth retrieving, but now, after finding a buyer, you'll get only 10% of what you went to all that trouble to steal, $200,000. But remember, that has to be split among the gang, with a new player taking the place of the one that was busted, but then escaped by killing a guard, and later was murdered himself by, guess who!
So, the new player, Sandra, gets only half of a regular share, or one-sixth of the total. Okay, that leaves 5/6 to divide between the two original gangsters, Parker and McWhitney. So, let's see, that's now down to 5/12 for each of them. Multiplying that by $200,000, we find that Parker clears $83,333.33 for all this trouble. And that's not counting what he has to pay the guy got him the artillery. And whatever happened to all that heavy artillery, anyway?
But wait! He lost the use of his old ID, John B. Allen. And poor Julian Norte, his former ID maker, has gone to scammer's heaven, or somewhere. To get a new one, we have to pay out another $200,000.
So the job ends up costing you $116,667.67. Now, I ask you, is this any kind of way to run a robbery business? How long before the business has to go bankrupt? No, that couldn't happen. Robbers don't go bankrupt. They go somewhere else.
I read this book in two days. It's a sequel to "Ask the Parrot," which is itself a sequel to "Nobody runs forever."
By Richard Stark