The Slayground

Dave (The United States)'s review of Slayground

The title “Slayground” is a takeoff from the phrase “Amusement Playground.” It is the fourteenth Parker novels, following “Deadly Edge” and preceding “Plunder Squad.” “Lemons Never Lie” comes between “Slayground” and “Plunder Squad,” but that is really one of the four Grofields, not a Parker. “Slayground” is the flip side to the Grofield novel “Blackbird.” Parker, Grofield, and another guy pull off an armored car heist and the car flips over in the getaway process. Grofield ends up in the hospital where he is recruited by the CIA in “Blackbird.”

Parker, however, gets away and hides inside an amusement park, that is shut down for the winter. In front of the park as Parker makes his entrance, a pair of hoodlums is busy paying off a pair of cops. After hearing a radio report of the armored car heist, a crack team of professional hoods enter the park to hunt down Parker and the $70,000 he is reportedly carrying with him. There is but one entrance and one exit and the hoods can keep calling in reinforcements while Parker has but one gun and a limited number of bullets.

This is quite different than most other Parker novels as it really doesn’t center around the planning and execution of a heist. This is more like a horror movie with the serial killer chasing the teens around the funhouse, popping out at the oddest moments and creating general havoc Parker-style.

It is a solid, quick read that is about as fun to read as any crime novel ever has been. No, the plot is not all that complicated, but it doesn’t need to be with Parker ingeniously improvising as he darts from one amusement park ride to another. How many hoods does it take to take down Parker? Gotta wonder.

Giving this one high marks not on its depth and complexity, but on the absolute amount of fun and enjoyment this was to read.

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