The Score by Richard Stark

Published in 1964, this is the fifth in Donald Westlake’s series of hard-boiled crime novels. This time Parker agrees to join a dozen or so other thieves in taking as much as they can get from a small town in North Dakota. They plan to knock over a mining company, some banks, a loan company and some jewelry stores all in one night.

This is one of the best Parker novels I’ve read. It’s fast moving and relatively plausible, although Parker breaks some of his own rules, which leads to the usual complications. 

Parker only speaks when necessary and only says enough to get his point across:

“I don’t kill as the easy way out of something. If I kill, it’s because I don’t have any choice”.

“You mean self-defense”. 

“Wrong. I mean it’s the only way to get what I want”.  (7/8/12)