The Hunter + The Score = Butcher’s Moon. For more than two decades, it seemed that Butcher’s Moon would be the last Parker novel, and I have to admit that some small part of me wishes that it were, as it makes a perfect coda to original series of novels (and is even richer still if you have read the Grofield novels, too). Having said that, however, I will relish reading Comeback, and I will not feel obligated to wait 23 years before I do it. Grade: A-
A sort of apprentice novel in which Gil Brewer turns a longish Day Keene story (“Marry the Sixth for Murder!,” Detective Tales, May 1948) into something even longer. The original story didn’t make a great deal of sense to begin with, and Brewer stayed true to his source material. He adds a femme fatale and makes his protagonist a bit more hardboiled, but the substance of the plot is the same. If you’re interested, you should stick to the Keene story (which is reprinted in The League of the Grateful Dead: Day Keene in the Detective Pulps, Volume #1) and save your time to read a better novel. Grade: C-
A: Excellent. I intend to read it again. B: Good. I might read it again. C: So-so. I didn't mind reading it. D: Bad. I resented reading it. F: Atrocious. I finished it only because I'm compulsive that way.