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Flashfire by Richard Stark,
This review is from: Firebreak: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels) (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.