Garry Disher's "Kickback"
Many reviewers have noted the similarities. Wyatt is similar to Parker, "obviously inspired by Parker," even "a Parker clone," according to one Wyatt admirer on this blog. What I've never seen Wyatt called is an affectionate tribute to Parker, and that's what this book is in its opening chapters. The set-up is nearly identical to those in some of the Stark books, for example, but the characters act in ways just different enough to give the story a slightly different feeling. Disher also pays a bit more attention to details of setting than Stark, and there is just enough unfamiliar language to spice things up for this North American reader (" ... they were too up themselves to be sus about what he did for a crust.")
Stark (nom de plume of Donald Westlake) may have returned the compliment. The first four Wyatt novels are Kickback, Paydirt, Deathdeal and Crosskill. When Stark brought Parker back in 1998 after a twenty-five year hiatus, he called the first five new Parker novels Comeback, Backflash, Flashfire, Firebreak and Breakout. Are the similar titles coincidence? I think not.
© Peter Rozovsky 2006
Australian crime fiction