Whitney Pastorek
November 17, 2006 AT 05:00 AM EST

Ask the Parrot

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Richard Stark
publisher
Mysterious Press
genre
Fiction

We gave it a C-

If you’re a fan of hard-boiled thrillers, slap in a mouth guard: This sucker’s been boiled so long you might break a tooth. Ask the Parrot, the latest installment in Richard Stark’s series about one-name master criminal Parker is a man’s book, dammit, and so the focus is largely on cars and guns. Not in an action-movie kind of way, mind you; nothing in the book is in much of a hurry. Parker is practical, the men trying to stop him are noble but misguided, rifles are described more specifically than characters, and the ending is just that: the end. Stark (a.k.a. Donald E. Westlake) has no use for floofy denouements. Real men just stop reading when they’re done.

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