Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Catching Up On Crime: DIRTY MONEY by Richard Stark (Parker #24)

Dirty Money (Parker, #24)Parker, Sandra, and McWhitney attempt to retrieve their bounty; serialised stolen bank cash that they can’t use but can trade internationally – sure they won’t get the full score but a portion, once is all said and done, is better than nothing even if it is one thousand per ten.

In traditional Stark fashion, the violence is bubbling to bursting point. Any confrontation can lead to bloodshed. Parker’s violent nature is once more on display and there are plenty of opportunities for him to satisfy that need. Dealing with underworld figures and a crew who would as easily backstab you as they would say hello over coffee in the morning, brings with it a natural form of scepticism that breeds confrontation.

Despite the potential for DIRTY MONEY to be memorable and the acclaimed accomplishments of the previous books, notably the earlier ones in the series, the last Parker novel doesn’t end on a high note. DIRTY MONEY did little to end such a dominant rein of the perennial and the most immensely readable thief in crime fiction which is a shame as I had high hopes for this final instalment in the series following the lacklustre ASK THE PARROT.

DIRTY MONEY is the conclusion of a three novel story arc that actually doesn’t provide the reader with a whole lot of closure. Parker, his allies, and enemies are still there ready for more action. Had it not been for the authors untimely passing, I have little doubt that more books would follow DIRTY MONEY – and perhaps better written too.

There are a number of reasons as to why DIRTY MONEY left a sour taste in my mouth – firstly, I have read ASK THE PARROT (hence the previously mentioned comment) and that was a direct continuation of NOBODY RUNS FOREVER (a book I haven’t read), with DIRTY MONEY following the continuity and asking that the reader be familiar with the previous works to fully appreciate the events of this book. DIRTY MONEY doesn’t work as a standalone or even a partial component of continuity as it picks up mid stream and fails to provide closure. Perhaps my thoughts on the situation Parker and co so find themselves would’ve been more positive had I read NOBODY RUNS FOREVER (I will read this at some stage).

For me, DIRTY MONEY was just OK.

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