I'm the perfect audience for these books as I've never read a Richard Stark/Donald Westlake novel about Parker but I love Darwyn Cooke, I like crime stories and looooove comics, so mixing all that up and serving it to me is gravy every time. I will read a Parker novel by Westlake one day but for now, The Hunter, The Outfit, and this one, The Score are perfectly enjoyable by themselves.
Parker is his usual tough-guy self as he gets drawn into a scheme to rob an entire town, a small mining town in the middle of nowhere, in a single night. He assembles a team of expert thieves to assist in the raid and they plan meticulously - but of course things don't go according to plan, neither are they what they seem.
My favourite book of the series so far is The Outfit though The Score is a close runner up and it's told in a more straightforward way, unlike The Outfit which made great use of various comics styles to tell the story. The Score is also the first Parker book where thing have gone wrong - in previous titles, Parker and co. have made a plan and pulled it off perfectly. Here, Parker finally encounters trouble and has to deal with complications as they arise, leading to a more tense and exciting story overall.
The one criticism I would have is how few people the crew encounter in the town - even if there is a curfew and it's set at night, they meet just one person on the streets? In the entire town? Hmmm.
Cooke's art is as amazing as ever and his adaptation - while I don't know how faithful to the source material it is - is a thrilling read. If you love crime comics set in the 60s-era with fantastic art and tremendous style, Cooke's Parker books are for you. The Score is terrific - can't wait for Slayground (Cooke's next Parker adaptation)!