Richard Stark’s The Hunter is the first of 24 Parker novels. Parker is the bad guy going after the slightly worse guys and not afraid to take out whomever gets in his way.
After a robbery gone awry, Parker heads to New York City to seek his revenge. In noir style, Parker is a total badass who can kill someone with a punch and is so physically intimidating that people quiver before him. They all sense or know that he would rather not kill them, but if it comes down to it, he will. While the story is quite dated (what produced in the 60’s wouldn’t be), its nice to see that there was a non misogynist anti-hero that existed during that time. Parker has no problem beating up women if he must, but he treats them equal to the men that he beats. So, while the women aren’t treated well in the novel, they are treated equally which I didn’t think was typical of this time period.
In more recent thrillers that I’ve read, the characters have gross psychological conditions which explain their behavior or at least give some insight. Starks makes no excuses or explanations for Parker’s behavior. He is who he is without apology.
I liked reading this. A bigger than life man seeking his revenge. When the bodies start piling up and his revenge doesn’t feel fulfilled, he keeps upping the ante. He goes after those who betrayed him directly and then moves on to those who profited.
Well done Parker. I hope you enjoy your downtime before the next of the 23 Parker novels begins.
Read April 2013