Anne Waldron reading a book, 1912

Anne Waldron reading a book, 1912

Donald E. Westlake wrote under his own name as well as a variety of pseudonyms, one being Richard Stark. As Richard Stark, Westlake wrote a large number of hard crime stories about a professional criminal named Parker:

You’ve heard of the hero and the anti-hero…how about the non-hero? That’s how Parker, the main character in a series of novels by Richard Stark (AKA Donald E. Westlake) has been described. Parker is a thief, but he’s no charming cat burglar who playfully eludes the silly authorities. He’s a ruthless thug who does whatever it takes to get what he wants (usually money), and he doesn’t care about a living soul other than himself. Some of the things he does will be repellent (I hope) to readers.

So why read the stuff? Because Stark is an excellent writer and the Parker books are exciting and thought-provoking. Like all great crime fiction, the Parker novels give readers not just the story of a crime, but also a detailed look at the inner workings of a fascinating and original character.

Whether you are already a fan of Westlake or just like good crime fiction, go pay a visit to The Violent World of Parker.

The newly revamped site offers:

Blog: Musings on Parker, Stark, and Westlake, with occasional forays into other crime fiction. The latest news can be found here, along with whatever else I find interesting.

The Parker Novels: A list of the novels in order of publication, with links to a page for each novel. The page for each novel contains links to other goodies, such as cover galleries, detailed synopses, and introductions to out-of-print editions.

The “Parker” Movies: Movies based the Parker novels. There is a page for each movie, which includes a trailer if available, and a link to a gallery of pictures related to the film, including posters and stills.

The Grofield Novels: Spun off from the Parker series, these detail the adventures of Alan Grofield, the actor and thief first seen in The Score. The pages for each novel contain links to other goodies, such as cover galleries and detailed synopses.

Not Quite Parker (Print and Screen): References, pastiches, homages, ripoffs, inspirations, and remarkable similarities.

Extras: Great stuff that wouldn’t fit anywhere else. Small now but growing.

R.I.P.: Obituaries for and tributes to the great Donald E. Westlake (AKA Richard Stark). We miss you.