Lemons Never Lie (1971) – World

A Grofield Novel

Obviously, when I started Lemons Never Lie, I had no idea it would be the last appearance of Alan Grofield, who had ridden shotgun in six Parker novels, The Score, The Handle, Slayground, Deadly Edge, Plunder Squad and Buther’s Moon, as well as taking the wheel himself three other times, in The Damsel, The Dame and The Blackbird. He was good company, and then he went away.

I’d brought him aboard in the first place to try to lighten up Parker, which was clearly not going to happen. Still, might Parker find the need for his presence again, some time down the road? Don’t ask me.

What pleases me most about Lemons Never Lie is that it was the only time I can think of where I invented a plot structure. That structure, which is not an arc but three bounces, each one higher, was new, I believe. And Alan Grofield was the perfect unruffled guy to do it. Enjoy. ~DEW


Grofield opened the closet door and the wrestler smiled up at him with his slit throat. “Here he is,” Grofield called, and Dan came in from the other room saying, “Which one? Let me get my hands on him.”

Grofield stepped back, and Dan looked at the thing on the floor of the closet. “Jesus,” he said.

“Your friend Myers,” Grofield said, “is around the bend.”

“He cut his throat for six grand,” Dan said. He sounded awed.

“He was going to kill everybody in New York State for one-sixth of a hundred grand,” Grofield said.

“I can’t believe he’s so penny ante,” Dan said. He looked at Grofield and shook his head. “That’s what gets me. He was supposed to be such hot shit down there in Texas.”

“He’s left us a mess.”


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