Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Firebreak: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels) Paperback – August 15, 2011
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
This is how this book starts. The novel is volume 20 of a series of 24, written over a span of 4 decades since the 1960s. All of them start with a similar sentence. When that happened, Parker was just doing this...
That opening habit is the only such mannerism in Stark. The rest is always original, even when each book is about a robbery or more than one.
Crime goes with time. Parker finds it more and more difficult to fill short term small cash needs... Cash has largely gone out of use. More and more cyber crime happens, and 'normal' heists need to add know how of the cyber world to stay ahead of security. The need to involve people with such special knowhow doesn't please Parker. These nerds are risk factors.
In the process, Parker must change his style. He must become more patient with fools and amateurs. That is not good for his perfectionism. He is the planner, the strategist, but mastery of the universe escapes him now.
The subject in Firebreak is a break into the hunting lodge of an Internet mogul... Why go there at all? Not for the golden appliances, those would just cause logistics trouble, but for the hidden vault with art treasures below the lodge, in a basement. Actually, there are paintings that some of the gang had stolen before already, a few years ago from a museum. But how will they sell the goods?
That heist is disturbed by interference from the malevolent past, brought on by hackers. Parker has to force his way of life on a new world. Brave.
This is maybe not Stark's most entertaining Parker, but the first in the lot that reveals doubt about the world as Parker knows it.
The Parker novels are of a genre of their own. No other character is as pleasurably amoral as Parker. He is all business until the job is over and once the job is on anyone and anything is expendable that stands in the way of his goal. He is not a psychopath, not by a long shot but a person with his own code, a code by which he lives every day. Kill only if necessary because it complicates things but definitely kill if necessary.
In Flashfire there is the nearly epic quest by Parker to catch up with the guys from his last job who did not give him his share when he refused to go in with them on their next job...a gaudy jewelry heist in Palm Beach...something Parker wanted no part of. His singlemindedness in this pursuit only serves to make the reader truly understand the depth of this character...It is about the money but, then again, it is. There is a rule that Parker will not let himself be victimized in any way...and the motivation is not revenge. It is just business.
Flashfire is a great choice for a first Parker read. It is expansive and complicated and Parker suffers more setbacks then usual including almost dying
from a bullet in the back. Try it; you'll like it and then you'll want another.
Firebreak starts with Parker being hunted by professional assassins. Parker is contacted by his friend Elkins about a possible job, but must first get himself free of the threat.
Getting free of the hunt is complicated. Parker must first learn who is after him, neutralize them and them discover who paid them to hunt him. This is a long and detailed process full of action and intrigue. Parker encounters major opposition and the result is brutal.
Second, one of the people involved in the new job is hindered by being on bail and needing to wear an electronic "cuff". Lloyd had been betrayed by a partner in a previous job and must be cleared before he can help (he is the electronic genius needed for the new job.
Finally, the new job is to break into a fortified mansion in the wilds of northern Montana. The mansion property contains a lodge with millions of dollars of paintings secured in a heavily fortified vault area. Parker and his crew must break thru the outside security (electronic and armed guards). They must also overcome the protective alarms and break the security codes that keep the artwork in a three room vault with a steel door. The vault is built in the solid rock side of a mountain.
Firebreak is full of action and violence. There are several sub-plots involving the owner of the art, the police forces, and two competing criminal groups - one seeking revenge and the other trying to steal the art from Parker's team. This fast paced crime novel is entertaining and I highly recommend it.
But to get there, Parker has to contend with teams of would-be assassins, one of whom makes it into Parker's home on the lake, the one he shares with Claire. He has to contend with a partner who is a computer genius but is hellbent on getting even with those who betrayed him. And, the guys who brought him into this caper, they tried and failed and the guys who were working with them got caught and are thinking of turning State's evidence. By the time all this is resolved, the resolution of the actual caper doesn't seem so important.
It's a typical Parker novel, taut, sardonic, tough-nosed, gripping. Not the best of the lot as there's a little too much going on, but still a Parker novel and this series has no peers.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just love Parker and his understated violence in this one
Even his partners know not to mess with him!!!!one more word
Richard Stark (an alias for Donald Westlake) compiled a terrific series of noire crime drama, with the no-first-name Parker as the protagonist, set in the mid-60's. Read morePublished 14 months ago by G. Simms
The Parker novels have long been a hallmark for fast-paced, well-written crime tales and this one, 20th in the series, is no exception.Published 18 months ago by Tyson Blue
The writing is so clean. Every word. Clear. Simple. Precise. Parker is a quintessential American antihero, maybe THE quintessential American antihero.Published 21 months ago by Blaine Steele
Not sure I am an objective reviewer because I like all of his stories. I also like the Travis McGee series and Stone Barrington. Read morePublished 22 months ago by John Lester
Parker is a career criminal who is essentially amoral The book follows him through the planning and execution of a crime as well as his interactions with his fellow criminals. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Daniela Smith
Firebreak is a Parker novel that stops and starts and zig-zags and requires knowledge of previous books in the series. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Tim Field
I've read them all. This one not so much a page turner. Couple left, let's see how it finishes. I need a good series.Published on October 25, 2013 by Mags
Interesting side story of hit men going after Mr. P at the Lake House. As tough as Parker is he still applies "half measures" when, as they say in Breaking Bad, "full... Read morePublished on October 4, 2013 by Texcritic