The Hunter (1962) – Pocket Books

A Parker Novel

Also published in the February, 1968 issue of For Men Only magazine as The Exploiters.

He was a mess. He had no shoes or socks, his shirt and trousers were bloody and filthy and torn, his face and arms were scratched and bruised, and he couldn’t walk properly. He came at last to a highway, and walked along it for five minutes before state troopers picked him up. He was too worn down to resist, and they vagged him.

His fifth month on the farm, he wrote a careful letter to a guy he knew in Chicago, asking for information about Mal in a roundabout way. He signed the letter by his prison name, Ronald Casper, because he knew it would be read by the censor before it was mailed, but in the body of the letter he tried to make it clear who the writer really was.

He got an answer three weeks later, an answer as guarded in its phrasing as his question had been, but through the verbiage about non-existent relatives he got the story. Mal, it seemed, had left Chicago some time ago, with a woman who could only have been Lynn. He had apparently squared himself with the syndicate and had been taken back into the fold. He had been recently seen in New York, spending heavily and living the good life. Lynn was still with him.

So Parker waited, and when his chance came he took it. He killed a guard rather than wait the two more months until they would have released him anyway. He had to get moving. He wanted Mal Resnick–he wanted him between his hands. Not the money back. Not Lynn back. Just Mal, between his hands.


Read: Donald Westlake’s introduction to the hardcover Gregg Press edition



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