Prisoners’ perspectives of the UK penal system; what it’s really like on the inside, and where to get help. An invigorating, detailed and illuminating read, that’s critical but fairminded in its assessment of what life in jail is like, and on what works (not much) and what doesn’t. Recommended.
A former child soldier becomes involved in a scheme to rob Carlos Escobar’s former safe house. A brisk Miami-set thriller that’s pacy and with some interesting details, though it feels sketchy at times; still, any Harris is better than no Harris, even if this isn’t his best. work.
Parker sets up a loose network of associates to disrupt Mob operations. The third in the sequence finds Stark on fine form; a fast-moving yarn of multiple heists and revenge. Westlake/Stark as laconic as ever.
An amoral thief tracks down the couple that left him for dead. Fast-paced, convincing noir with an irresistible anti-hero at its centre. Westlake/Stark’s first Parker novel zings with terse promise, and doesn’t waste a moment.
Hap and Leonard protect a young woman from an East Texas crime family. The twelfth in the sequence is an action-oriented and brisk tall tale, leavened with Lansdale’s humour and by a real affection for the characters. A solid series addition.
Hiding out in a remote pub from a vengeful gang family, Tom finds his hosts are just as dangerous. Excellent darkly comic rural noir; a touch of Magnus Mills in the escalating body count. Lots to enjoy here!
After having plastic surgery, Parker agrees to an armoured car robbery. Lean noir thriller from a modern master of the genre. Not a wasted word across its 150-odd pages. My first in a series read-through of Donald E Westlake’s Stark/Parker novels.