Sometimes mystery master Donald E. Westlake is the author of uproarious crime capers. Sometimes he has a mean streak-and its name is Parker. From his noir classic The Man with the Getaway Face to his recent novel Nobody Runs Forever , whenever Westlake writes as Stark, he lets Parker run loose-a ruthless criminal in a world of vulnerable "straights."
On a sunny October afternoon a man is running up a hill. He's not dressed for running. Below him are barking police dogs and waiting up ahead is a stranger-with a rifle, a life full of regrets, and a parrot at home who will mutely witness just how much trouble the runner, Parker, can bring into an ordinary life.
The rabbit hunter is Tom Lindahl, a small-town lonely heart nursing a big-time grudge against the racetrack that fired him. He knows from the moment he sees Parker that he's met a professional thief-and a man with murder in his blood. Rescuing Parker from the chase hounds, Lindahl invites the fugitive into his secluded home. He plans to rip off his former employer and exact a deadly measure of revenge-if he can get Parker to help.
But Tom doesn't know Parker and that the desperate criminal will do anything to survive-no matter who has to die...