Thursday, April 05, 2007

Just Read: Lemons Never Lie by Richard Stark

I've been reading a lot of Westlake recently -- Adios, Scheherezade under his own name, then I Know a Trick Worth Two of That as Samuel Holt and now this one as Richard Stark. Stark's books are mostly the "Parker" crime novels, but this is a sidebar novel, in a slightly less gritty style (but only slightly) about another criminal, Alan Grofield.

Grofield is an acquaintance of Parker's, so there clearly is a Stark-iverse (sorry; I put everything in comic-book terms; it's a sickness). I understand that there are several Grofield novels, but this is the first one I've read. (And I have no idea where this fits in Grofield continuity -- it probably slots in after some specific Parker book, too, and I don't know which that is.)

Lemons is about Grofield going to do a job, finding out the guy organizing that job is a few crates shy of a full load, and trying to get out. Being that this is a Richard Stark book, things are not that easy.

This was originally published in 1971; I got it in the new Hard Case Crime edition, which is snazzy and pulp-y as it should be (kudos to Charles Ardai for all those great Hard Case books). I still prefer trade paperbacks to mass-markets, but books like this can almost convince me otherwise.

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