Miskatonic University Press

First Lines to Richard Stark’s Parker Books

First lines to all of the Parker novels by Richard Stark. See The Violent World of Parker for more.

  1. Hunter (December 1962): “When a fresh-faced guy in a Chevy offered him a lift, Parker told him to go to hell.”
  2. The Man With the Getaway Face (March 1963): “When the bandages came off, Parker looked in the mirror at a stranger.”
  3. The Outfit (September 1963): “When the woman screamed, Parker awoke and rolled off the bed.”
  4. The Mourner (December 1963): “When the guy with the asthma finally came in from the fire escape, Parker rabbit-punched him and took his gun away.”
  5. The Score (July 1964): “When the bellboy left, Parker went over to the house phone and made his call.”
  6. The Jugger (July 1965): “When the knock came at the door, Parker was just turning to the obituary page.”
  7. The Handle (February 1966): “When the engine stopped, Parker came up on deck for a look around.”
  8. The Seventh (March 1966): “When he didn’t get any answer the second time he knocked, Parker kicked the door in.”
  9. The Rare Coin Score (1967): “Parker spent two weeks on the white sand beach at Biloxi, and on a white sandy bitch named Belle, but he was restless, and one day without thinking about it he checked out and sent a forwarding address to Handy McKay and moved on to New Orleans.”
  10. The Green Eagle Score (1967): “Parker looked in at the beach and there was a guy in a black suit standing there, surrounded by all the bodies in bathing suits.”
  11. The Black Ice Score (1968): “Parker walked into his hotel room, and there was a guy in there going through his suitcase laid out on his bed.”
  12. The Sour Lemon Score (1969): “Parker put the revolver away and looked out the windshield.”
  13. Deadly Edge (1971): “Up here, the music was just a throbbing under the feet, a distant pulse.”
  14. Slayground (1971): “Parker jumped out of the Ford with a gun in one hand and the packet of explosive in the other.”
  15. Plunder Squad (1972): “Hearing the click behind him, Parker threw his glass straight back over his right shoulder, and dove off his chair to the left.”
  16. Butcher’s Moon (1974): “Running toward the light, Parker fired twice over his left shoulder, not caring whether he hit anything or not.”
  17. Comeback (1997): “When the angel opened the door, Parker stepped first past the threshold into the darkness of the cinder block corridor beneath the stage.”
  18. Backflash (1998): “When the car stopped rolling, Parker kicked out the rest of the windshield and crawled through onto the wrinkled hood, Glock first.”
  19. Flashfire (2000): “When the dashboard clock read 2:40, Parker drove out of the drugstore parking lot and across the sunlit road to the convenience store/gas station.”
  20. Firebreak (2001): “When the phone rang, Parker was in the garage, killing a man.”
  21. Breakout (2002) : “When the alarm went off, Parker and Armiston were far to the rear of the warehouse, Armiston with the clipboard, checking off the boxes they’d want.”
  22. Nobody Runs Forever (2004): “When he saw that the one called Harbin was wearing a wire, Parker said, ‘Deal me out a hand,’ and got to his feet.”
  23. Ask the Parrot (2006): “When the helicopter swept northward and lifted out of sight over the top of the hill, Parker stepped away from the tree he’d waited beside and continued his climb.”
  24. Dirty Money (2008): “When the silver Toyota Avalon bumped down the dirt road out of the woods and across the railroad tracks, Parker put the Infiniti into low and stepped out onto the gravel.”

There’s also the first line to Child Heist, which Dortmunder and his crew read in Jimmy the Kid (1974) and use as the basis for their plan: “When the guard came to open the cell door, Parker said to the big man named Krauss, ‘Come see me next week when you get out.’” There are excerpts from this phantom Parker novel throughout Jimmy the Kid.

Updated: 22 March 2009