This week’s Sunday Salon will be deferred until next week, thanks to a combination of circumstances: following up on a story of a soldier from the area where I live who was injured as the result of a suicide bombing attack in Afghanistan (I am a correspondent for a newspaper, whose full-time reporter is on vacation for the next two weeks), mowing our lawn (a necessary evil) and a nap brought on by the resulting headache from allergies.
I was planning on continuing to read The Outfit by Richard Stark, the third Parker novel (1963) as written by one of the many pseudonyms of Donald E. Westlake (the first nine of 27 have been rereleased last year and this year by the University of Chicago Press). I have written previously about Westlake/Parker here. I just finished the second Parker, The Man with the Getaway Face, last night and jumped right into this third one.
Alas, it was not to be today.
Despite that, this week was a pretty good week, reading- and blog-wise. I actually wrote two posts: Tuesday’s Meme Things: Traveling down Zzyyzx Road, finding loot and trivia, and Library Loot/Friday Finds Redux: New and improved! Now with a photo! and finished four books:
- Dead Sleep by Greg Iles
- The Narrows by Michael Connelly
- Last Shot by Gregg Hurwitz
- The Man with the Getaway Face by Richard Stark
I will leave you with a sample from The Outfit, a part in which Parker is going to see a mobster named Fairfax:
The heavy-set man came back, followed by Fairfax. Fairfax was tall and stately, graying at the temples, with a smartly clipped pepper-and-salt moustache. He was about fifty-five, and had obviously spent a lot of time in gymnasiums. He was wearing a silk Japanese robe and wicker sandals. He looked at Parker and frowned, “Do I know you.”
The new face came in handy sometimes. Parker said, “I work for Mr. St. Clair. You might of seen me around with him.”
“Mmmm.” Fairfox touched his mustache with the tips of his fingers. “Well’s what’s the message?”
Parker glanced meaningfully at the bodyguards. “Mr. St. Clair said I should keep it private.”
“You can speak in front of these men.”
“Well– it has to do with Parker.”
Fairfax smiled thinly. “Parker is the reason these men are here,” he said. “What about him?”
“He knocked over The Three Kings tonight.”
“He beat up Mr. St. Clair and the bartender. He walked off with thirty-four hundred dollars.”
“So he’s in New York.” Fairfax mused, stroking his moustache.
“He did, eh?” Fairfax glanced around at his three bodyguards. He smiled again, with scornful amusement. “I think we’re ready for him if he does come,” he said. “Don’t you.”
Parker fired through his pocket…