The Rare Coin Score is the ninth of Donald E. Westlake’s Parker novels, written under the name Richard Stark. The Rare Coin Score is, to my mind, the absolute pinnacle of a heist novel.
It represents what Donald E. Westlake did exceedingly well: it aspires to be nothing more than it is, merely the tightest, nastiest crime novel possible, with enough rich detail and unexpected twists to just plain blast off the page. In doing so, it thoroughly transcends the genre and becomes one of the existential touchstones of 20th America. And yes, I’m saying that with a straight face.
As Luc Sante said of Westlake’s Parker books: “These books practically read themselves.”
This is one of the best damn heist novels you’ll ever read. Period, end of story.