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Flashfire (Parker #19)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  811 ratings  ·  91 reviews
Parker seeks revenge on the criminals who betrayed him as Melander and his gang head for Palm Beach to score a fortune in stolen jewelry.
Hardcover, 278 pages
Published November 21st 2000 by Mysterious Press (first published 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,242)
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Dan Schwent
This is the book the upcoming Parker movie starring Jason Statham is based on.
Parker helps a crew on a bank job and then they take off with his money. Parker goes after them like a bloodhound, gathering money and planning to take their next heist out from under them. Only the man who furnished Parker with a new identity is gunned down and the killer is coming for Parker! Can Parker get his money and avoid getting dead?

Flashfire is one of the non-standard Parker books. Parker is out to steal back
Jul 05, 2015 Mark rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of noirish writing
So this book is one of those were Richard Stark made Parker return after too many years of absence, and he does so quite well. Parker is still at the top of his game.

This is also the book that lays the foundation for Jason Stathams 'Parker" movie which turned out not to be such a bad movie after all it actually managed to stay fairly close to the book even if the openings scene for the movie at the state fair was not by Stark but a very good done heist.

Parker does this heist and when the dust se
Sep 07, 2012 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
I know that “Flashfire” was published in 2000, but this book feels like it was written three or four decades earlier. In this book I experienced the same rush that I felt when reading “The Man with the Getaway Face”. I can see why some lament the change in tone of the later Parker novels. I think that I am in that camp, too. Maybe not stringently, but I definitely like the punch and pacing of this book.

Like all Parker novels, the action comes in right at the start. In this one, Parker & asso
Jun 12, 2007 Adam rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of the Parker series
Shelves: crime-fiction
Like nearly every other Richard Stark book, this could just as easily have been entitled The Wrong Guy to Mess With. And I mean that as praise. Part of the pleasure of reading a Parker novel is knowing what you're going to get; a heist, a double-cross, a clockwork plot, and a satisfying conclusion in which Parker kills his betrayers and recovers his money. Unfortunately, Flashfire is too long and its story is unnecessarily convoluted. Perhaps the changing demands of the publishing industry are t ...more
After the Great Parker Hiatus, Ronald Starlake restarted the series with a sequence of linked titles: Comeback, Backflash, Flashfire, Firebreak, and Breakout. Of these five, only Breakout (one of my favorite Parker novels) is distinct in my mind; the others blur together, much as Starklake’s titles suggest that he intended. Thus, when the movie Parker was announced as an adaptation of Flashfire, I couldn’t exactly remember which novel that was, but I chose not to worry about it. I wanted to see ...more
Ed [Redacted]
When he heard the new Parker movie was based on this book, Ed thought he should read it again.

After a re-read, I still find this to be a middle of the road Parker book. Not bad, there is no "bad" Parker book, but not his best by some distance.
Jane Stewart
This was pretty good, not the best Parker, but above average. The ending was very feel good.

This was different in that Parker needed help when he was shot and in the hospital. He had to trust and rely on a woman he recently met. I love the way Parker gets revenge on people who cross him which he does here. I liked what Parker did to the bad guys’ hideout home and guns.

I especially liked one line. Parker is describing to Leslie how the bad guys are going to rob a charity auction - coming in or le
Someone stole Parker's money and he wants it back and he wants the man, actually three men, who stole it dead. Okay, if you've read enough Parker books you know that if Parker wants someone dead, they're gonna get dead and, of course, Parker always gets his money back with interest.

You know all this when you start the book, but you still enjoy reading about how it all unfolds. I don't think I've read a series of books as well written and overall as consistent as Stark's (Westlake's) Parker seri
It took me awhile to find out Donald Westlake had published under several names. I'm very familiar with and absolutely love his Dortmunder series and the book of his nonfiction that was published after his death.

So I thought I'd try this.

Good choice.

Don't ever cheat Parker. You'll regret it just as these three did when they "borrowed" part of Parker's share of the loot from a heist to finance a larger one they had planned. They had also planned to have Parker in on it. But he won't join.

Then he
Aug 25, 2013 Ed rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Richard Stark/Parker fans
Recommended to Ed by: Series fan
It's good to return to Parker land. This time our favorite hardboiled thief is in on a jewelry heist pulled in ritzy Palm Beach, Florida. Things don't quite work out as planned, and Parker has to improvise like he always does. This entry in the series uses more humor which I find refreshing. Fans of Richard Stark's Parker series should find this one a satisfactory read, too.
Steve Isaak
When three fellow heisters (Boyd Melander, Hal Carlson and Jerry Ross) cheat Parker out of his money, Parker follows them to Palm Beach, where he hopes to recoup his cash -- with interest -- from them.

Further complications arise when he's at the wrong place at the wrong time, resulting in a hit being put out on him, and a blond real estate agent takes interest in Parker, a.k.a. Daniel Parmitt, who doesn't strike her as a typical client.

Stark's writing is pulp icy, blunt and intense (character-
More of a 2.5, so I'm rounding down to distinguish it from the majority. As Lawrence Block pointed out so well in a forward a book or two ago, the Parker series is formulaic. It's a great formula that I've spent many a pleasant hour reading & listening to. But formulas must adhere to some stringent rules for me to enjoy them. This one stretched several badly.

The book was over-long for a Parker novel. I didn't ding Butcher's Moon for that, which was much longer, but in this case there was a f
Tyler Capra
Parker is a mysterious character that reveals very little about himself. Each piece of information that is learned about him is spread out throughout the book. In the beginning, he and his other coworkers are nothing more than some mediocre shoplifters. But as the story progresses, they show interest into a much larger scale job. A 12 million dollar job. Parker decides that he is out, and finds himself pitted against his old friends and racing them with a civilian that has no idea what she's ge ...more
Tim Niland
This was originally published as Flashback, one of the latter books in the Stark (aka Donald Westlake) canon. It starts with a bank robbery. Parker and and a group of three men pull of the heist like clockwork. The three other men involved in the robbery make a some big mistakes: they decide to cut Parker out of the money and use it as seed money for their next caper, and more importantly, they let Parker live. When he is double crossed, Parker doesn't get mad, he gets even. Scouring the country ...more
Douglas Castagna
I guess I am biased since I am a fan of the author and the series, though this time, I saw the movie first. Yes, it was a weakness on my part and I enjoyed it greatly, however I wondered if the J Lo role was just an imagining from the screenwriter or director, but no, the character exists, in some form, in the novel.

The novel and the movie have, at its heart, the same story. After a successful heist, the crew tries to strong arm Parker into using his share to fund another job. They take his mone
I was craving a mystery and returned to Richard's Stark, Parker stories. Parker is a cold-blooded and calculating anti-hero who you root for anyway. He's a hit man who is so self-assured that you can't help but be impressed by his confidence and ability. It's easy to forget that he kills and robs people. This time he is down in Florida taking revenge on his accomplices from the prior job who haven't paid him off yet. He doesn't stop when he's outmanned, nearly killed or involves an innocent byst ...more
Debbie J
As I read Flashfire I predicted it would rank low on my list of favorite Parker novels. However, it climbed the ladder by several rungs when I reached a choice bit of dialogue from the cold-blooded heister himself:

"Claire is the only house I ever want to be in," he said. "All her doors and windows are open, but only for me.”

Sah.Woon. This is the closest Parker has come to admitting he loves his woman (who barely appears here). Perhaps his icy veins face betrayal by a warming heart.

Flashfire was
John Defrog
This is the 19th book in the Parker series, and – if you didn’t know – the one that was made into the recent Jason Statham film. Parker pulls a job with a team who only afterwards inform him that the take is intended to finance an even bigger job – a jewelry heist in Palm Springs. When Parker refuses that job, they take his share anyway and promise to repay him later. Bad move. This is probably the most elaborate Parker caper of the series so far, as Parker’s plan to get his money back involves ...more
Φυσικά συγγραφέας δεν είναι άλλος από τον Ντόναλντ Γουέστλεϊκ, που με το ψευδώνυμο Ρίτσαρντ Σταρκ έγραψε τα βιβλία της σειράς Πάρκερ καθώς και τα λιγότερο γνωστά βιβλία της σειράς Άλαν Γκρόφιλντ και με το κανονικό του όνομα τα βιβλία της σειράς Ντόρτμουντερ, κάποια βιβλία για την σειρά Hard Case Crime και κάποια άλλα εκτός σειρών.

Ένα περίεργο πράμα, φέτος μεταφράστηκαν δυο βιβλία του, το Πως να κλέψετε μια τράπεζα από τις εκδόσεις Άγρα, που είναι το δεύτερο βιβλίο της κωμικής αστυνομικής σειράς
Cherese A. Vines
Dec 03, 2013 Cherese A. Vines rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: crime, heist
Shelves: crime, fiction, quest
I found this book in the library because I had just seen the movie Parker starring Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez. Something didn't feel right about the movie and when I saw that it was based on a novel, I decided to find out just what felt wrong about Parker. I enjoy Jason Statham movies, but Parker was just "off." Anyway, after reading the book, I see what the script writer was attempting to do. It didn't work.

Flashfire by Richard Stark is about Parker. He is a criminal--a very creative one,
The Parker character was getting way too close to a Superman complex in the previous books. You know he's always going to win out, but at least there's some thrill in finding out HOW he does it. It's easy for a seemingly invulnerable character to become boring if he's never in any real danger. Then we get Flashfire. What happens when Superman isn't invulnerable and Murphy's law about everything going wrong kicks in? Instead of rolling with the punches and dodging bullets, Parker leans into them ...more
Another in the long-running PARKER series about a tough career criminal and his attempts to keep from getting caught, or worse. This is actually a very atypical novel in the series, mostly due to the fact that Parker just can't seem to catch a break. I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but Parker spends most of the book trying to get back some money he feels is owed him, which leads to more problems down the road.

I really liked the atypical interplay between Parker and the real-estat
This was a good Parker tale, a longer and more winding story than average but all there to connect Scene A to Scene Z. Involves fire trucks and Pasadena, Texas, but not at the same time. Book cover says it's "now a major motion picture" (wouldn't it be nice if just once they told us it was "now a MINOR motion picture"?) with Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez. Ah, and Nick Nolte down at the tail end of the cast list -- THAT will make me find it and see if they did a decent job.
Michael Emond
My short review is: Another solid Parker novel (I have read 80% of them) very enjoyable, very fast read, very Parker with some new elements, and a lot of twists and changes of direction. The negative is there are a lot of "seriously?" moments when the coincidences start to mount up. But the fun of the story allows you to overlook those moments. We get a nice little part in the beginning of Parker doing a lot of quick one off heists to raise money. I love when Parker gets the freedom to do his th ...more
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Westlake obviously is more interested or adept at character development at this later stage of his career; however, he manages to entwine that depth of character seamlessly into the plot-action, never allowing a single thing to slow down throughout. On top of that, there isn't one "good guy" in this whole book, but you like all the characters, whether they play a small or large part in the story. Good stuff.
I especially liked this Parker novel as Stark (aka Donald Westlake) uses his acerbic sense of humor to take on Palm Beach, FL. Even though the Parker series is not funny per se, Stark cannot keep his humor stifled during the whole narrative. No matter how grim and brutal it gets, there's always something very wryly observed to make the reader smile a little. In this story, Parker feels slighted by his partners in crime at the beginning of the narrative. He spends the rest of the time planning hi ...more
Wilde Sky
A ruthless criminal is double crossed and seeks revenge.

I found this to be an enjoyable, fast-paced crime caper with a good plot.

If you enjoy simple escapist criminal stories (and are prepared to forget the plot holes) then you will probably enjoy this book.
Clara Bellamy-White
I would like to note that I was really skeptical and unsure of this book to begin with as I had won this in a competition alongside the book to movie adaptation, and chose to read the book first over watching the movie.

But the book is somewhat really addictive to get into, after the third or fourth chapter I couldn't put it down and hated putting it down when I had to do other things. Because of this book I would really like to read other Richard Stark books.

Parker has the witty, and yet sarcas
Aaron Martz
Another great Parker book. Engaging from the outset, relentlessly paced, violent, filled with more than the usual twists. Plot complications come out of nowhere, and the fleet-footed Parker is kept constantly on his toes. That Westlake is able to cram this much plot into less than 300 pages shows what a master he is at efficiency of description and dialogue. This book concerns three criminals who throw Parker over and head down to Palm Beach to plan a jewelry heist among the elitist snobs. Parke ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Parker (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • The Hunter (Parker, #1)
  • The Man With The Getaway Face (Parker, #2)
  • The Outfit (Parker, #3)
  • The Mourner (Parker, #4)
  • The Score (Parker, #5)
  • The Jugger (Parker, #6)
  • The Seventh (Parker, #7)
  • The Handle (Parker, #8)
  • The Rare Coin Score (Parker, #9)
  • The Green Eagle Score (Parker, #10)
The Hunter (Parker, #1) The Man With The Getaway Face (Parker, #2) The Outfit (Parker, #3) The Score (Parker, #5) The Mourner (Parker, #4)

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