RE: RARA-AVIS: First lines from Stark's Parker books

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 03 Jun 2002

Chris wrote:

"I don't know the numbers for these either. But "The Handle" isn't #7 - that's "The Split," aka "The Seventh," so called because it's not only the seventh in the series, but it's also Parker's share of that book's heist. I believe "Handle" is actually #8. Not sure though. At any rate, this leaves only the first lines of "Plunder Squad" and "Butcher's Moon," which are the two that go for $150 or more on Ebay and which I therefore don't own."

Actually, The Seventh is the eighth to have been published. However, plotwise, it is clearly the seventh, with events happening before The Handle, which was printed seventh, so the two must have been printed out of order, just a month apart.

Here are the publication dates from the Pocket editions:

The Hunter -- December 1962 The Man With the Getaway Face -- March 1963 The Outfit -- September 1963 The Mourner -- December 1963 The Score -- July 1964 The Jugger -- July 1965 The Handle -- February 1966 The Seventh -- March 1966

I just have the year for the later ones:

The Rare Coin Score -- 1967 The Green Eagle Score -- 1967 The Black Ice Score -- 1968 The Sour Lemon Score -- 1969 Deadly Edge -- 1971 Slayground -- 1969, 1971 (first chapter was from the Grofield novel, Blackbird, hence the earlier date) Plunder Squad - 1972 Butcher's Moon -- 1974

The first paragraph of Butcher's Moon is:

"Running toward the light, Parker fired twice over his left shoulder, not caring whether he hit anything or not. It was just to slow them down, keep the cops in the front of the store while he and the others got out."

And then there is "Child Heist," the otherwise non-existent Parker novel which is excerpted in Westlake's Jimmy the Kid. Chapters alternate between Parker pulling a kidnapping and the Dortmunder gang trying to copy him.


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