Parker Books

The name Parker refers to a noir series of novels written by Donald E. Westlake. The series tells the stories of Parker, a master thief with a loose moral compass.

Order of Parker Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Hunter 1962 Description / Buy
2 The Man With The Getaway Face 1963 Description / Buy
3 The Outfit 1963 Description / Buy
4 The Mourner 1963 Description / Buy
5 The Score 1963 Description / Buy
6 The Jugger 1965 Description / Buy
7 The Seventh 1966 Description / Buy
8 The Handle 1966 Description / Buy
9 The Green Eagle Score 1967 Description / Buy
10 The Rare Coin Score 1967 Description / Buy
11 The Black Ice Score 1968 Description / Buy
12 The Sour Lemon Score 1969 Description / Buy
13 Deadly Edge 1971 Description / Buy
14 Slayground 1971 Description / Buy
15 Plunder Squad 1972 Description / Buy
16 Butcher's Moon 1974 Description / Buy
17 Comeback 1997 Description / Buy
18 Backflash 1998 Description / Buy
19 Flashfire 2000 Description / Buy
20 Firebreak 2001 Description / Buy
21 Breakout 2002 Description / Buy
22 Nobody Runs Forever 2004 Description / Buy
23 Ask The Parrot 2006 Description / Buy
24 Dirty Money 2008 Description / Buy
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Parker has been the primary protagonist of at least two dozen novels. Donald never reveals his other name, mostly because the author does not know it. Donald E. Westlake had no intention of writing a Parker series.

He first introduced the character in The Hunter. Even though it eventually became the first novel in a series, The Hunter was initially a standalone. In fact, Donald had no intention of letting Parker survive his first major escapade.

The plan was to see him die in a hail of bullets. However, the authors publisher, while enthusiastic about his manuscript, would only buy Donalds story if Parker survived. The anti-hero was such a compelling character that Donalds publishers thought it best to let him live so that he could potentially make another appearance down the line.

You wont hear Donald E. Westlake complaining about the decision to let Parker live because it worked out in the end. The thief proceeded to carry out numerous other heists even as his popularity grew.

And Donald saw no reason to break the mystique by revealing Parkers second name. It is astounding to realize that, even after all the novels Donald has written about the thief, the author has succeeded in keeping Parkers history a secret.

It has even been suggested that the name Parker is a pseudonym. The anti-hero is written to be a cold and calculating criminal. While he isnt prone to wanton murder, Parker will kill if he is pushed to.

Parkers only ethical rule is this: he will not double cross another professional criminal with whom he has partnered. Of course, that rule goes out the window once the criminal in question decides to double cross him.

Parker has so few redeeming qualities that you wont find a single reader calling him a hero. He makes his appearance in The Hunter because he was betrayed by his wife and former partner. And there is no one he wont cut through to get his revenge.

Most Parker novels revolve around Parkers attempts to plan for and then execute a heist. Things almost always go wrong, and usually because his partner was either incompetent or they betrayed him. It then becomes a matter of Parker using his wits to escape seemingly impossible situations.

Parker Books into Movies

The first Parker book to receive a film adaptation was The Jugger which became Made in USA. This was closely followed by The Hunter (which became Point Blank), The Score (which became Mise a Sac), The Seventh (which became The Split), The Outfit (which became The Outfit) and Flashfire (which became Parker).

The Hunter was adapted again in 1999, becoming a film called Payback.

Best Parker Books

The Parker books shouldnt have much appeal considering the cold and merciless nature of their protagonist, but Donald E. Westlake has a unique ability to keep audiences entertained despite the morally questionable nature of his heroes, with some of the best books in the Parker series including:

The Man With The Getaway Face: Parker has lived a long and sordid life. And it eventually becomes clear that the only way to start afresh and escape the contract put on his life by the mob is to surgically change his face.

However, despite changing his face, Parker cannot stay out of trouble. The robbery of an armored car goes wrong when one of Parkers associates girlfriend decides to betray them.

If that wasnt bad enough, the man who changed Parkers face is thinking about leaking his new identity.

The Outfit: This book follows the Outfit which is a powerful criminal organization. Parker crossed them and somehow escaped with his life. Now the Outfit wants Parker dead. When the organizations assassin takes his shot and misses, Parker decides to get even. And he wont stop until the Outfit has been completely decimated.

Other Book Series You May LikeMatthew Scudder” Series by Lawrence Block. Matthew Scudder was an alcoholic police officer. After accidentally killing a young girl, Scudder left the NYPD and ran away from his family, choosing to spend his days working as an unlicensed private eye.

There is a good chance you will enjoy the “John Dortmunder” Series by Donald E. Westlake. John Dortmunder is a career criminal that specializes in burglaries. Dortmunder likes to meticulously plan every job that comes his way. However, things keep going wrong and he must always devise clever ways of overcoming impossible odds.

What Is The Next Book in The Parker Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Parker Series. The newest book is Dirty Money and was released on April, 23rd 2008.

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