“Richard Stark writes a harsh and frightening story of criminal warfare and vengeance with economy, understatement and a deadly amoral objectivity—a remarkable addition to the list of the shockers that the French call romans noirs.”
—Anthony Boucher, New York Times Book Review
The Outfit now knows that Parker has a new face. They don’t have a very pleasant relationship of late – for details see The Hunter and The Man with the Getaway Face. And so, when The Outfit begins, a hired assassin is sent to kill Parker, interrupting him in bed. Furious, Parker extracts information from the killer, and from that moment on, he declares war on The Outfit. First, he goes after the guy who fingered him and sent for the assassin. Next, he’ll hit The Outfit where it hurts most: in the wallet.
This is how he’s going to do it: he spends time writing letters and visiting old colleagues in the business. He lets them know what the score is. Historically, professional thieves leave The Outfit’s operations alone. They don’t bother The Outfit, and vice versa. But now, The Outfit is overreaching itself, making trouble for Parker. And Parker’s friends don’t necessarily have a huge loyalty to Parker, but they know just how easy it would be to pull off Outfit heists. Many of them have been walking around with plans in their head for years. Now they have an excuse to pull the trigger and hit The Outfit for all they’re worth.