Simply put, Slayground is one of the best crime novels ever written. The 14th book in Donald Westlake's brilliant Parker series of novels, it might be the quintessential Parker tale. Westlake, who wrote the series under the name Richard Stark, shows Parker at his best: alone, nearly defenseless, hunted by two dozen men as he hides out in a snow covered, shut down amusement park with a sack full of money. He finds a way out, of course, because that's what he does. But reading it as it unfolds, and witnessing Parker and Westlake do what they do best, is an absolute treat.

If you're a fan of the novels, there's an excellent chance this installment ranks among your favorites. And if you've read the books and you've been collecting the award-winning graphic novel adaptations by Darwyn Cooke, this may be the book you've been looking forward to the most, and maybe the one Cooke was most looking forward to recreating.

I've read all 16 of the original run of Parker novels -- Westlake would return to the series 23 years after the 16th book -- and one of the many things that strikes me about Cooke's adaptations is the fact that he's created a Parker who looks and feels exactly like the one I imagined: cold, calm, and effortlessly terrifying. Cooke's latest graphic novel in the Parker series, on sale this week, will no doubt be a late entry for best comic of 2013.

IDW has provided ComicsAlliance with a 14 page preview of Slayground, which you can view below.

Slayground goes on sale this Wednesday, December 11th, at finer comic shops.