As I did at the time, I thought Parker was a wolf in human form, and that Westlake wrote it that way, at least sometimes intentionally, I couldn`t help but see Raven, the gun as the story, being described as “mangy wolf in a cage.” It probably helped me realize that the whole story of his targeted revenge against the men who had crossed him twice – that`s Parker`s story in The Hunter. Very freely adapted. Raven is a murderer, not a thief. He was hired to kill an idealistic politician on the continent, which proved to be an obstacle for a British industrialist who hopes to launch another great war – good for the economy. In The Hunter, Parker needs a place to expand the Mob-Hotel where the brand has taken refuge, and to that end, he hits a woman in a beauty store, binds her and gags her, and when he returns, he discovers that she died of asphyxiation – she was asthmatic. He did not want to kill her because there was no reason to do so, but no remorse, but only irritation for futility. It is the only time in Parker`s 24 novels that he has caused the death of an (probably) innocent person. It`s getting a little out of hand – the store could have been so easy to leave, or the woman could have lived. Why put that in there? Except there`s something similar going on in Greene`s book? Anyway, I`m so a vacuum cleaner for these shots like any other, and I had the chance to read a vintage first edition of Farewell My Lovely recently, so I took it. I get to know why people loved him so much and still do. He had serious skills. Writing a solidly credible story with well-motivated characters was not one of them.
Westlake was as usual on money. But he would have read about Chandler before he came to that conclusion. The deal with Kill is strange. Jake Spinner, who has just been released from prison, is on the run after the murder of the man who took him there. With him, Loma, the pro who really did the killing, runs on a boss contract in St. Louis. Loma is a cripple, an enigmatic club foot that never does anything for a good reason, no matter how temporary. What about the lunatics? He thinks maybe it`s time to switch sides, and he wants a job and connections with the people of St.