Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Nobody Runs Forever (Parker Series #22)

Nobody Runs Forever (Parker Series #22)

4.5 2
by Richard Stark

See All Formats & Editions

Master criminal Parker is back and in deeper, darker trouble than ever before. The classic anti-hero is forced to use every trick in his dubious arsenal to avoid having to pay the ultimate price for his questionable line of work.


Master criminal Parker is back and in deeper, darker trouble than ever before. The classic anti-hero is forced to use every trick in his dubious arsenal to avoid having to pay the ultimate price for his questionable line of work.

Editorial Reviews

Paula Woods
Add to the mix of sharply drawn characters Roy Keenan, a bounty hunter tracking the missing poker player, and his equally determined partner, Sandra, and the reader is off on an adventure that is mordantly funny as well as intricately plotted, with more turns than the New England back roads the gang takes to avoid the cops. Is the title of this latest installment a portent of things to come for the perversely likable Parker? Until that question is answered, do yourself a favor and read (or re-read) the other titles in this most excellent series.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
You just can't get good criminal help these days. That's what Stark's heist-meister Parker quickly discovers as he tries to make a score to repair his sagging finances-no doubt wounded by recent economic ills. First, the plan of would-be hijackers of dental gold in Cincinnati turns to rubbish when one of the conspirators is found wearing a wire. Then a genial idiot with a workable plan for a robbery during a bank merger is found to be carrying too much emotional baggage, especially in his sexual connection to the wife of one of the bankers. And finally, a coldhearted bounty hunter who's almost as good at his job as Parker is threatens everything when he stumbles across the bank robbery scheme while looking for the wire-wearer. Stark (aka MWA Grandmaster Donald Westlake) offers lots of bleak fun as well as intriguing physical details of the illegal variety and righteously sharp descriptions of people we pass every day on the street. A sentence like "She wasn't slender; she was bone thin, and inside the stylish clothes she walked with a graceless jitteriness, like someone whose medicine had been cut off too soon" nails the banker's wife in an instant. This stellar series just gets better and better. (Nov. 23) Forecast: The author has published six Parker novels since restarting the series in 1997 (after a 20-year hiatus) with Comeback. A blurb from Stephen King will remind readers that Westlake/Stark remains one of the best writers in the genre. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Anti-hero and criminal mastermind Parker is in for the "heist of a lifetime" and a whole lot of trouble. Stark (who is also Donald E. Westlake) lives in upstate New York.-Ann Kim Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-When a game of seven-card stud among a group of criminals produces a potential police informer with a communications device taped to his chest, Parker loses no time in strangling him. The group cancels its heist plans and breaks up, but Parker and three others soon reconvene. With inside information from the wife of a local bank president, they plan on robbing an armored car. Parker and his cohorts manage to pull off the job and stash the cash, but the cops are hot on their trail. Action scenes provide motion and movement. Characters often seem sketchy at first, but they round out as the story unfolds. Even the secondary figures stand out as clearly defined individuals, and their roles, which may be small, remain key elements in the plot. The tension builds with the thieves' reactions as the story winds tightly toward the ending. Stark's careful control over every element results in a fascinating novel, a look at the true price of crime, and an opportunity to enjoy another book by this master writer (aka Donald Westlake).-Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Unrepentant antihero Parker (Breakout, 2002, etc.) breaks yet more laws. Seven poker buddies sit around a table calmly planning a heist until Parker gets up, wrenches off his necktie, and strangles Harbin from behind. Who can blame him? Harbin, turned by the feds, was wearing a wire. The players disband and dump the plan, leaving Parker a little short. Later Dalesio, also left short, outlines a bank job involving four armored trucks, twelve armed guards, and over a million in cash and asks whether Parker wants a piece of it. Sure, there are problems. One is too much pillow talk between two lamebrained amateurs: Elaine, the bank owner's wife, and Jake, a former employee who has to supply scheduling details. Another is two bounty hunters on Harbin's trail. Unable to find him for the feds, they're zeroing in now on the poker players. Still, Parker arranges for materiel, Dalesio scouts the getaway roads, and Elaine shoots Jake to put him in the hospital and give him an alibi-a dumb idea that attracts the attention of Det. Gwen Reversa. One bounty hunter dies and the other switches sides while everyone else converges on the armored-car convoy leaving the bank. A little too much situational bumbling better suited to one of the Dortmunder plots of Stark's alter ego, Donald E. Westlake. Still, if you want to make a killing, Parker's your kind of guy.

Product Details

Hachette Book Group
Publication date:
Parker Series , #22
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.81(d)

Read an Excerpt

Nobody Runs Forever

By Richard Stark

Mysterious Press

Copyright © 2004 Richard Stark
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-892-96798-6

Chapter One

When he saw that the one called Harbin was wearing a wire, Parker said, "Deal me out a hand," and got to his feet. They"d all come to this late-night meeting in suits and ties, traveling businessmen taking a break with a little seven-card stud. Harbin, a nervous man unused to the dress shirt, kept twitching and moving around, bending forward to squint at his cards, and finally Parker, a quarter around the table to Harbin's left, saw in the gap between shirt buttons that flash of clear tape holding the wire down.

As he walked around the table, Parker stripped off his own tie-dark blue with thin gold stripes-slid it into a double thickness, and arched it over Harbin's head. He drew the two ends through the loop and yanked back hard with his right hand as his body pressed both Harbin and the chair he was in against the table, and his left hand reached over to rip open Harbin's shirt. The other five at the table, about to speak or move or react to what Parker was doing, stopped when they saw the wire taped to Harbin's pale chest, the edge of the black metal box taped to his side.

Parker bore down, holding Harbin against the table, pulling back now with both hands on the tie, twisting the tie. Harbin's hands, imprisoned in his lap, beat a drumroll on the bottom of the table. The other players held the table in place, palms down, and looked at McWhitney, red-bearded and red-faced, who'd brought Harbin here. McWhitney, expression solemn, looked around at each face and shook his head; he hadn't known.

"My deal, I think," Dalesia said, as calm as before, and shuffled the cards a while, as the others watched Harbin and Parker. Dalesia dealt out hands in front of himself, all the cards facedown, and said, "Bet the king."

"Fold," said Mott.

It was Stratton who'd taken this hotel room in Cincinnati. He pointed at McWhitney, pointed at Harbin, made a thumb gesture like an umpire calling the runner out. McWhitney nodded and quietly got to his feet, being sure the chair wouldn't scrape on the floor.

Mott and Fletcher were seated flanking Harbin; now they held him upright while Parker peeled his necktie out of the new, deep crease in Harbin's neck.

"These cards are dead," Mott said, and Fletcher peeled the tape off Harbin's chest, freeing the antenna wire and the transmitter box.

McWhitney, standing there, made a broad shrugging gesture to the table, a combination of apology and innocence, then came around to pick Harbin up in a fireman's carry, bent forward with Harbin's forearms looped around his own throat.

"Bet two," Parker said, coming back to his place at the table.

Fletcher held the transmitter and antenna while Mott crossed to the sofa at the side of the room and came back with a cushion, which he put where Harbin had been seated. Fletcher put the transmitter on the cushion, and they all sat, making comments about the game they weren't playing, except Stratton, who went into the other room, where his gear was.

McWhitney carried Harbin to the hall door, looked out, and left, carrying the body. At twenty after one on a weekday morning, there wasn't likely to be much traffic out there.

They continued not to play, to discuss how cold the cards were, and to suggest they might all make an early night of it. They hadn't been together in the room long before Parker had made his discovery, and so hadn't yet started to talk about anything that the wire shouldn't know. They were mostly new to one another, and would have had to get acquainted a while before they started to talk for real.

Stratton was back from the other room in five minutes, with one suitcase. He took his former chair and said, "Deal me out."

The others all made comments about breaking up early, the cards not interesting, try again some other time. Fletcher, who, it turned out, could sound something like Harbin, with that same rasp in his voice, said, "You guys go ahead, I'll clean up in here."

"Thanks, Harbin," Stratton said, and as they left, they all said, "See you, Harbin," to the transmitter on the cushion.


Excerpted from Nobody Runs Forever by Richard Stark Copyright © 2004 by Richard Stark. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

DONALD E. WESTLAKE, aka Richard Stark, has written numerous novels over the past thirty-five years under his own name and pseudonyms, including Richard Stark. Many of his books have been made into movies, including , which became the brilliant film noir Point Blank, and the 1999 smash hit Payback. He penned the Hollywood scripts for The Stepfather and The Grifters, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay. The winner of three Edgar awards and a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, Donald E. Westlake was presented with The Eye, the Private Eye Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award, at the Shamus Awards.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Nobody Runs Forever (Parker Series #22) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In a Cincinnati hotel room, seven buddies play poker intending to discuss a heist. Parker, sitting out the hand, gets up, takes off his tie, and wraps it around the throat of Harbin who is wearing a wire. Dalesia and Mott pretend the game is still on as Parker kills Harbin. McWhitney, who brought Harbin to the game, disposes of the body. The game breaks up with Fletcher pretending to be Harbin informing the others he will clean up. Stratton thanks ¿Harbin¿ as they all leave.--- However, Dalesia and Parker, who have a bit of history together, talk about being out of work. Dalesia says he has a somewhat risky idea for a heist of over a million dollars being transported by four armored trucks guarded by twelve security agents. Parker wants in though he understands that the prime risk comes from two key ¿rookies¿, the banker's wife and a former bank employee, neither of which can keep their enthusiasm nor fears quiet. Meanwhile Harbin¿s partners hunt for him by tracking the poker players. Now the gang, Harbin¿s partners, and Police Detective Gwen Reversa rendezvous with four armored-cars.--- NOBODY RUNS FOREVER is a typical exhilarating Parker tale that leaves no prisoners from start to finish. Parker displays his professionalism from the onset as he calmly kills the informant in the opening scene and continues on that criminal path that makes him a popular antihero. Though his partners are so tyro and unprofessional that long term fans would doubt he would try the caper with them, all things considered readers will appreciate Richard Stark¿s latest Parker thriller.--- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago