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.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $15.00
  • Save: $2.97 (20%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Firebreak: A Parker Novel... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Great condition, just hints of wear.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Firebreak: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels) Paperback – August 15, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$8.53 $7.10

Best Books of the Month
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.
$12.03 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Firebreak: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels)
  • +
  • Flashfire: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels)
  • +
  • Backflash: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels)
Total price: $39.04
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews


“Parker . . . lumbers through the pages of Richard Stark’s noir novels scattering dead bodies like peanut shells. . . . In a complex world [he] makes things simple.”
(William Grimes New York Times)

“Whatever Stark writes, I read. He’s a stylist, a pro, and I thoroughly enjoy his attitude."
(Elmore Leonard)

“Richard Stark’s Parker novels . . . are among the most poised and polished fictions of their time and, in fact, of any time.”
(John Banville Bookforum)

“Parker is a true treasure. . . . The master thief is back, along with Richard Stark.”
(Marilyn Stasio New York Times Book Review)

“Westlake knows precisely how to grab a reader, draw him or her into the story, and then slowly tighten his grip until escape is impossible.”
(Washington Post)

“Elmore Leonard wouldn’t write what he does if Stark hadn’t been there before. And Quentin Tarantino wouldn’t write what he does without Leonard. . . . Old master that he is, Stark does all of them one better.”
(Los Angeles Times)

“Donald Westlake’s Parker novels are among the small number of books I read over and over. Forget all that crap you’ve been telling yourself about War and Peace and Proust—these are the books you’ll want on that desert island.”
(Lawrence Block)

“Richard Stark writes a harsh and frightening story of criminal warfare and vengeance with economy, understatement and a deadly amoral objectivity—a remarkable addition to the list of the shockers that the French call roman noirs.”
(Anthony Boucher New York Times Book Review)

"Parker is a brilliant invention. . . . What chiefly distinguishes Westlake, under whatever name, is his passion for process and mechanics. . . . Parker appears to have eliminated everything from his program but machine logic, but this is merely protective coloration. He is a romantic vestige, a free-market anarchist whose independent status is becoming a thing of the past."
(Luc Sante New York Review of Books)

"I wouldn't care to speculate about what it is in Westlake's psyche that makes him so good at writing about Parker, much less what it is that makes me like the Parker novels so much. Suffice it to say that Stark/Westlake is the cleanest of all noir novelists, a styleless stylist who gets to the point with stupendous economy, hustling you down the path of plot so briskly that you have to read his books a second time to appreciate the elegance and sober wit with which they are written."
(Terry Teachout Commentary)

"If you're a fan of noir novels and haven't yet read Richard Stark, you may want to give these books a try. Who knows? Parker may just be the son of a bitch you've been searching for."
(John McNally Virginia Quarterly Review)

"The University of Chicago Press has recently undertaken a campaign to get Parker back in print in affordable and handsome editions, and I dove in. And now I get it."
(Josef Braun Vue Weekly)

"Whether early or late, the Parker novels are all superlative literary entertainments."
(Terry Teachout Weekly Standard)

“The UC Press mission, to reprint the 1960s Parker novels of Richard Stark (the late Donald Westlake), is wholly admirable. The books have been out of print for decades, and the fast-paced, hard-boiled thrillers featuring the thief Parker are brilliant.”
(H. J. Kirchoff Globe and Mail)

About the Author

Richard Stark was one of the many pseudonyms of Donald E. Westlake (1933–2008), a prolific author of crime fiction. In 1993, the Mystery Writers of America bestowed the society’s highest honor on Westlake, naming him a Grand Master.


Product Details

  • Series: Parker Novels
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (August 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226770656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226770659
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #444,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When the phone rang, Parker was in the garage, killing a man.

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.
12 Comments 5 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Flashfire is one of the Parker novels of Richard Stark the alter ego of famed and prolific mystery writer Donald Westlake. It is currently being made into a feature film starring Jason Statham. Each Parker novel is like a priceless gem to be read and re-read and then read again. The only "true crime" is that Mr. Westlake has passed on so there will be no new ones.

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.
Comment 1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

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.
4 Comments 1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition
"Firebreak" is the 20th of the 24 Parker novels written by Westlake disguised as Richard Stark. It brings Parker into the modern age of the internet. An internet tycoon has a collection of rare Masters hidden in a secret vault under a hunting lodge in Montana. There's some real money there if you can break through all the electronic protections.

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.
Comment 1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Firebreak: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels)
This item: Firebreak: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels)
Price: $12.03
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: suspense thrillers, carl hiaasen books