cover image Dirty Money

Dirty Money

Richard Stark. Grand Central Publishing, $27.99 (276pp) ISBN 978-0-446-17858-7

Master thief Parker wraps up some unfinished business in this entertaining if relatively lackluster entry in this long-running crime series from the pseudonymous Stark (aka MWA Grand Master Donald Westlake). Lots went wrong after Parker and two partners robbed an armored car in rural Massachusetts of $2.2 million in 2004's Nobody Runs Forever. The money was \x93poisoned\x94 (i.e., marked); one of his partners was captured before killing a marshal and escaping; and bounty-hunter Sandra Loscalzo wants to cut herself in on the take. The pragmatic, quick-thinking Parker must find a way to retrieve the stashed haul he and his confederates left in Massachusetts without getting caught by the law or nibbled to death by other crooks. Stark handles the criminal aspects of his tale with his usual panache, but some fans will find Parker's trademark sharp edge less in evidence this outing. (Apr.)