Flashfire by Richard Stark

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Between Parker’s 1961 debut and his return in the late 1990s, the world of crime changed considerably. Now fake IDs and credit cards had to be purchased from specialists; increasingly sophisticated policing made escape and evasion tougher; and, worst of all, money had gone digital—the days of cash-stuffed payroll trucks were long gone.

But cash isn’t everything: Flashfire and Firebreak find Parker going after, respectively, a fortune in jewels and a collection of priceless paintings. In Flashfire, Parker’s in West Palm Beach, competing with a crew that has an unhealthy love of explosions; when things go sour, Parker finds himself shot and trapped—and forced to rely on a civilian to survive. Firebreak takes Parker to a palatial Montana "hunting lodge" where a dot-com millionaire hides a gallery of stolen old masters—which will fetch Parker a pretty penny if his team can just get it past the mansion’s tight security. The forests of Montana are an inhospitable place for a heister when well-laid plans fall apart, but no matter how untamed the wilderness, Parker’s guaranteed to be the most dangerous predator around.
“Like all of Stark’s Parker novels, Firebreak is a brutal yet compelling glimpse into the amoral world of crime and revenge.”—Booklist
“The action [in Flashfire] is nonstop. . . . The awful fascination in these Parker tales comes from knowing the protagonist will always do whatever is necessary to protect himself and to achieve his goals.”—Wall Street Journal

About Richard Stark

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Donald E. Westlake is one of the greats of crime fiction. Under the pseudonym Richard Stark, he wrote twenty-four fast-paced, hardboiled novels featuring Parker, a shrewd career criminal with a talent for heists. Using the same nom de plume, Westlake also completed a separate series in the Parker universe, starring Alan Grofield, an occasional colleague of Parker. While he shares events and characters with several Parker novels, Grofield is less calculating and more hot-blooded than Parker; think fewer guns, more dames.            Not that there isn’t violence and adventure aplenty. The Damsel begins directly after the Parker novel The Handle. Following a wounded Grofield and his gal on a scenic, action-packed road trip from Mexico City to Acapulco, The Damsel is full of wit, adrenaline, and political intrigue.             With a new foreword by Sarah Weinman that situates the Grofield series within Westlake’s work as a whole, this novel is an exciting addition to any crime fiction fan’s library.
Published July 15, 2011 by University of Chicago Press. 295 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Waiting for his new associates to divvy up the proceeds from a Nebraska bank heist with him, Parker, the toughest professional criminal not behind bars, learns there are no proceeds: The boys plan on using it to finance their next job—stealing 12 million dollars’ worth of jewelry in Palm Beach.

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Publishers Weekly

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In this installment of Stark’s Parker series, the inimitalbe detective finds himself chasing jewel thieves in West Palm Beach, Fla., only to end up fighting for his life when everything go awry. In th

Mar 25 2013 | Read Full Review of Flashfire

Publishers Weekly

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With the deadly precision of a heat-seeking missile, barely deterred by serious attempts on his life because he happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, Parker messes up the plans of his former colleagues in a major way.

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Book Reporter

Longtime readers of Parker know what is going to happen: Parker is going to kill his erstwhile partners, after they pull off the second heist, and take all of the money.

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