RARA-AVIS: Re: Parker and Hit Man by Block AND 2nd Black Lizard

From: Dixon H Chandler II ( dchandler@nettally.com)
Date: 29 Jul 2000

Mark wrote:

>I ran across The Second Black Lizard Anthology of Crime Fiction in a
>book store today. I didn't even know there had been a second volume.
>How is it? Should I go back and get it?

Absolutely. I don't have it with me, but it's well worth getting, and a LOT harder to locate than the first one. I remember it as almost as good as the first.

>However, with very few exceptions, Parker is a consummate professional.
>He would never double-cross his partners, not due to any loyalty or
>morals, but due to professionalism. As a matter of fact, Parker is
>entirely amoral. There are several times in the series where he must
>decide whether or not to kill someone. Parker never even considers
>questions of right and wrong, but on the action's cost effectiveness,
>pure situational ethics. Will the killing further his ends or will it
>bring him even more trouble? And Parker pays for those very few times
>he shows pity; in almost every case, the spared comes back to get him
>and Parker regrets not having killed him/her when he had the chance.

That's also the way I felt about Hit Man by Block, with the exception that the novel is ABOUT that dilemma. The Hit Man in question comes into moral conflict, and the novel is about the process of his dealing with his professionalism vs. his deepening conscience. A great read, in fact one of my favorites by Block since Matt Scudder quit drinking.

>The Name of the Game is Death and The Endless Hour by Dan J. Marlowe --
>Earl Drake almost makes Parker seem nice, although part of that is
>because Parker's cold professionalism is replaced with a burning rage.


>Four For The Money by Dan J. Marlowe -- a one-off caper book about a
>crew of ex-cons who team up for an armored car heist.

Haven't read this one. I've found some of Marlowe to be unreadable. Anybody up to compiling a Must-Read Dan Marlowe list?


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