Author: Philip Lowery

The Green Eagle Score (a Parker Novel), by Richard Stark

Regardless of the title under consideration, at least fifty percent of any review of a Parker novel could be generically applied to any other of the titles in the series. That’s not a negative observation.

Although every book has a seaworthy plot—airtight, ingenious, and (mostly) plausible—a Parker novel is above all about Parker the character, Parker the attitude, Parker the unstoppable force. You read a Parker novel (and another, then another, and before you know it you’re re-reading The Parker Novels, because you don’t want it to be over) for a window into a life lived via wit, purpose, and talent unencumbered by the inconvenience of having to account for society’s judgment or, worse, someone else’s feelings. Parker lives life with the clear-eyed understanding that, in the end, he is on his own in the world and no one is looking out for him. Read more

Crater Lake

What does it cost to keep a secret for thirty-five years?

Crater Lake

“Tom? Tom, are you smoking?”

And another breaker lashed the rocks.

“Seems so.”

Of course I was smoking. I was outside on the balcony, taking in the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Who wouldn’t be smoking? Thirty-five years since I last saw that view. And I was smoking then, so it only made sense… Same goes for the red wine. Small victories, I guess.

Iris’s head and a bare shoulder were out the balcony door; the rest of her was demurely concealed. Like anyone would be looking anymore.

“You know I hate that stench.”

“It’s why I’m out here. I almost bought cigars.”

“Ugh. I hate cigars. You know that.”

“It’s what I’m saying.”

“Are you ready for dinner?”

“Have been half an hour. You?”

“I need some help with this zipper. My joints again.”

I took an extra-long draw on my smoke and enjoyed the moment when the filter crumples slightly between the lips: job done; there’s satisfaction in that. And with the sun going down over the edge of the Pacific? Like I said.

“Right,” I said, blowing smoke all over myself and mashing the butt into the discarded foil cap from the wine bottle.

“You’re not ready for dinner. You’re still in your shorts.”

“I can change my pants in thirty seconds.”

“Your shirt, too. You can’t go in that.”

“We’re on vacation. Short sleeves say vacation.”

“Perhaps. But the palm trees say strip-club.”

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