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Firebreak

Cover of Firebreak

Firebreak

Parker Series, Book 20

Between Parker's 1961 debut and his return in the late 1990's, 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. 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.

Between Parker's 1961 debut and his return in the late 1990's, 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. 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.

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About the Author-
  • Richard Stark (1933–2008), wrote dozens of novels under his own name and a rainbow of other pseudonyms. Many of his books have been adapted for film, most notably The Hunter, which became the 1967 noir Point Blank and the 1999 smash Payback.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 1, 2001
    Parker and crew have their eyes on the contents of a secret vault in a billionaire's hunting lodge in this typically taut thriller written by Donald E. Westlake under his nom de noir, but first the tough antihero must deal, roughly, with some people trying to whack him. A Russian hit man provides the overture action as Parker attracts the attention of enemies from the past and meets the killer mercilessly. Parker spends much of the rest of the book seeking out the source of the contract, gradually learning that his current job has brought his name and whereabouts to the surface. The job is one his old partners, Elkins and Wiss, have put on the table: a stash of paintings by Old Masters stolen from museums around the world and kept in dot-com mogul Paxton Marino's Montana lodge for his personal pleasure. To get past Marino's sophisticated electronic safeguards, they need help from a computer-nerd-gone-bad, really bad, named Lloyd. The author delivers this novel with the economy of a 1950s paperback original ("Twelve thousand dollars in twenties and fifties was rolled into an orange juice concentrate can in the freezer"), but slips in enough plot twists and surprises to satisfy the most modern audience (no heist ever written by Stark/Westlake comes off without lots of hitches). That Parker, on general principles, doesn't bump off Lloyd at first sight almost seems like a sign of weakness, but it's the only one in this deliciously nasty read. (Nov. 14)Forecast:Coming on the heels of
    Flashfire (2000), the last Parker novel, this one promises to be just as big a hit for MWA Grand Master and three-time Edgar–winner Westlake.

  • AudioFile Magazine Parker isn't just hard-boiled; he's injected with cement and frozen into stone. This is a guy who cusses out some poor sucker who offers him a ride. People who cross him do not enjoy a long life thereafter. Yet this is just one of a successful series of books with famous movie spin-offs that have proceeded from the pen of Donald E. Westlake (a.k.a. Stark) over the past forty years. As for the reader, few could present the characters and mayhem with greater élan than Michael Kramer. He fits the book and its characters like a glove, blustering one moment, cold as dry ice the next. Grab a seat and feel the chill. D.R.W. (c) AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine
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    Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Firebreak
Firebreak
Parker Series, Book 20
Richard Stark
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