by Edward Bunker


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Ex-con. Author. Actor. Legend. Edward Bunker is one of the acknowledged masters of crime fiction. Written in the late 1960's and discovered after Bunker's death in 2005, Stark is his first and perhaps his most explosive novel ever.

1962. Oceanview, California. The girls are beautiful. The dope is cheap. The squares here are ripe for the plucking—easy money for a man with a plan. Ernie Stark is a hophead and a grifter out to make a big score. If he has to screw over everyone in town, he will. The problem is one more misstep will find him locked up for good.

Violent, lightening paced and exotic, filed with the most wonderful cast of lowlifes you'll ever meet and dialogue that crackles, this is the lost novel for mystery lovers everywhere and the legion of fans of the legendary Edward Bunker.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781842432648
Publisher: No Exit Press
Publication date: 02/28/2008
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Edward Bunker was a habitual criminal in his youth, who turned his life around by writing about his experiences. His acclaimed work includes the crime novels Animal Factory, Dog Eat Dog, Little Boy Blue and the memoir, Education of a Felon. He died in July 2005.

Read an Excerpt



Ernie Stark was not the nicest guy you'd ever meet. Ask his friends. If he had any. He was a two-bit hustler who dreamt that the next score would be the big one. The one that would put him on easy street. But too often, he was outsmarted. If not by the sucker, then by the law.

Look at the latest situation he was in. Because of a stupid bust while he was still on parole, he was in bed with the cops. Stark had done a lot of shady things, but being a rat, a stool pigeon for the cops, was not a role he enjoyed. It was either that or going back to the slammer. He'd rather be a rat — outside.

The cops knew that his Hawaiian pal, Momo, was adealer. Small time stuff. They didn't want him; they wanted his supplier. If they arrested Momo, the next higher up on the drug chain would disappear. They'd even arrest Momo if they knew where his goods were.

So, you hired a rat like Stark to get close to his pal and get the name of the supplier of Momo's drugs. Easier said than done, mused Stark, sitting at the bar next to Momo in their favorite nightclub. It was 1962, and the Panama was the best popular club in Oceanview.

Complicating things for Stark was that he was slowly getting hooked on heroin. Shit that his pal Momo was supplying at cut-rate prices to his buddy. He wasn't hooked yet, but he was getting there. It was what had got him in this spot with the cops. He now had a twice-a-day habit. He had a growing monkey on his back.

He also had to keep an eye on Dummy, a mute who everyone had avoided in the joint. He and Dummy had been in prison together. He for a bunko caper that went bad, Dummy for manslaughter. No con ever touched Dummy, after the one who tried to get too friendly and later wound up dead. Stark had even learned some basic phrases to sign to Dummy, but the guy read lips. You soon learned never to kid him — to his face.

Dummy hung around the club, watching things. He had some sort of a deal with Momo. Stark guessed he was a runner. Maybe he could lead him to the Man?

Stark looked at his watch. He was late. Crowley would be pissed. Fuck him. How was he going to make his meet, with Dummy watching his every move? Dummy was nofriend. He almost never smiled. And when he did, somebody died.

"I gotta see a guy," he told Momo. "I'll be back in a few minutes. Save my seat." Momo didn't reply. He just waved him off. He didn't expect a farewell pat from Dummy.

STARK. Copyright © 2007 by Brendan W. Bunker. Foreword © 2007 by James Ellroy. Afterword © 2007 by Jennifer Steele. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information, address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

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Stark 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Good. Now don't do that again." She put back on her clothes and left to the first result.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
?......damiens at res 1
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1962 in Oceanview, Los Angeles, Ernie Stark knows he has done a lot of so called terrible things in his life, just ask any of his friends, if he had any, but the 'two-bit hustler¿ has never ratted out on anyone. However, he finds himself caught between a rock and a hard place (or at least the ocean and the continent). The rock is abusive LAPD Detective Lieutenant Patrick Crowley who demands Stark help him catch small time Hawaiian drug dealer Momo Mendoza or else. --- Giving Mendoza to the cop is the hard place as that means cutting off his own drug supply not giving Mendoza over to the cop means several horrific beatings and doing time on trumped up charges. Adding to his concern is the way the mute Dummy watches him as Stark wonders if he is being paranoid or if Mendoza¿s runner and perhaps enforcer, who did time for manslaughter, knows something. He has two days to do something, but how to out hustle a cop, a drug dealer, a killer and make it with Dorie Williams will require on hell of a scam. --- Crime caper fans will devour this STARK historical tale (actually it was written in the 1950s) as everyone involved is playing a game of poker with scams, bluffs and calls being the norm in a winner take all environs. The key quintet bring alive the streets of early sixties Los Angeles as each seems genuine with personal motives and flaws. With a fabulous final Caddy spin, the late Edward Bunker provides a terrific DOG EAT DOG Noir starring cold nasty NO BEAST SO FIERCE as these players. --- Harriet Klausner