A few months ago I announced in this space that the University of Chicago Press would be bringing out a uniform edition of the Parker crime novels of “Richard Stark,” the nom de plume of Donald E. Westlake. Interested parties will be pleased to know that the first three titles in the series, The Hunter, The Man With the Getaway Face, and The Outfit, have just been published. (I reviewed them here.)
For more information about the Parker Edition, visit the blog of the University of Chicago Press, where you will also find a link to a very interesting interview with Donald Westlake:
When Bucklin Moon of Pocket Books said he wanted to publish The Hunter, if I’d help Parker escape the law at the end so I could write more books about him, I was at first very surprised. He was the bad guy in the book.
More than that, I’d done nothing to make him easy for the reader; no smalltalk, no quirks, no pets. I told myself the only way I could do it is if I held onto what Buck seemed to like, the very fact that he was a compendium of what your lead character should not be. I must never soften him, never make him user-friendly, and I’ve tried to hold to that.
Read the whole thing here.