Baron is clever—perhaps too clever. He sits on the heavily protected island of Cockaigne, a mini–Las Vegas forty miles out in the Gulf of Mexico, raking in as much as $250,000 some nights, laughing at the Outfit, who can’t collect their cut. Now the Outfit can no longer stand the loss of face—not to mention the loss of revenue. That’s why they’ve sent for Parker, who knows that the line between success and failure on this score would be exactly the length of the barrel of a .38. Double-crosses and double-dealings from the word go, not to mention the arrival of Parker’s flamboyant friend Grofield, make this one of Richard Stark’s best.