Donald E. Westlake is one of the greats of crime fiction. Under the pseudonym Richard Stark, he wrote twenty-four fast-paced, hardboiled novels featuring Parker, a shrewd career criminal with a talent for heists. Using the same nom de plume, Westlake also completed a separate series in the Parker universe, starring Alan Grofield, an occasional colleague of Parker. While he shares events and characters with several Parker novels, Grofield is less calculating and more hot-blooded than Parker; think fewer guns, more dames.
Not that there isn’t violence and adventure aplenty… The Dame
finds Grofield in Puerto Rico protecting a rich, demanding woman in her
isolated jungle villa, and reluctantly assuming the role of detective. A
rare Westlake take on a whodunit, The Dame features a cast of colorful characters and a suspenseful, and memorable, climax.
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“Stark’s momentum is such that the more matter he throws into the hopper the faster the gears turn. The books are machines that all but read themselves. You can read the entire series and not once have to invest in a bookmark.”