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Brave in a new world
on May 5, 2012
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.