I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but since this was billed as a noirish hard boiled crime story, I have to say it delivers on that front. Parker is a tough dude, a professional thief with a lot of scores to settle after his near-death experience. He's so angry and such a hard case that he's hard to like as the book starts off, only when the backstory starts filling in can the reader start going along with the guy. Even when you see why he's so mad, you can't support his methods. The guy is too careless and too cold. When he accidentally kills an innocent, I don't think he lets it bother him too much. The secret for characters like this is always to set them up against worse villains, and Darwyn Cooke does that here. The Mob/Syndicate/Organization/etc is filled with scumbags, and the slimiest is the low-level manager who made Parker's wife betray and shoot her husband. It was pretty fun seeing the guy get what he deserved, but just like Parker says, the scene is over very quickly, and once the "justifiable" revenge has been dished out, a fair amount of the drive in the story is gone.
Cooke does an excellent job setting the tone of the book with his art. The guys are big and hulking and the dames are sexy and dangerous, just like they should be in any good crime story. The action is clear and the sets are stylish and immersive. I can recognize the quality of the package, I just don't think I'm a hard-boiled crime kind of guy. I need that touch of super-hero to really dig most noir (Scalped and Criminal being the exceptions, I guess).