Ya gotta love a crime novel with a title like this one. THE MAN WITH THE GETAWAY FACE is the second Parker novel by Donald Westlake writing as Richard Stark. Originally published in 1963, the edition I finished reading yesterday evening (pictured above), was published by Avon books in the mid-'80s. I've had this book on my shelf for years but never read it until I got off on my recent kick of reading the Parker novels.
As the title says, Parker gets a new face at the beginning of the book courtesy of a plastic surgeon whose clientele is exclusively criminals. With his facial features changed, Parker sets out to join a small gang and plot an armored car robbery. As usual, part of the beauty of these yarns is watching how Parker puts his team together and how they meticulously plan and execute the robbery. Parker even spots the double cross that's coming and makes plans to eliminate it once the job is done. But as in all good heist stories, something goes wrong after the caper. It's a loose end from the beginning of the book that Parker didn't see coming and he's forced to deal with it in his own inimitable way.
Tough, fast, grim and gritty THE MAN WITH THE GETAWAY FACE is a first-rate crime novel. I couldn't read it fast enough. Highest recommendation.