The Hunter

The Hunter (Parker #1) by Richard Stark

The Hunter (Parker #1) by Richard Stark

Career criminal Parker is double crossed and left for dead but they didn’t confirm the kill.  After surviving an attempt on his life, Parker’s search for the scumbag responsible has led him to New York City.  While finding the man may prove difficult for Parker, one thing is for sure, he’ll get his revenge or die trying.

While I’ve read all of Darwyn Cooke’s tremendous graphic novel adaptations as well as watched the late 90s movie  “Payback”, I’ve yet to check out the original source material – Stark’s acclaimed Parker novels.  Given that I’m immersing myself deeper and deeper into the world of noir and crime fiction, I figured it was about time that I checked out one of the genre’s standards.

This is truly textbook noir – despicable people doing despicable things to other despicable people.  Sure, you can root for Parker to succeed but he’s no better than any of his adversaries.  He’s a tough bastard who wouldn’t think twice about taking you out if you got in his way.  He’s a man driven by his own sense of what’s right in a world where everything is wrong.  His relentless pursuit for what he feels is rightfully his, by his own admission, is crazy and it makes him a great character.  Everything he does in The Hunter makes sense – I didn’t find myself questioning his actions or the actions of others.

Both the writing and the dialogue are sharp and precise, like a surgeon’s scalpel.  The tight 198 pages it takes to the tell the story are used with precision.  Nothing is wasted and there’s no sense of filler.

I’ve got a long road ahead of me (about 24 books in total) but I’m strapping myself in for the ride.  Why oh why did I wait so long??

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