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(Parker #19)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,489 ratings  ·  156 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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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  1,489 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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Start your review of Flashfire (Parker, #19)
When you ask Parker for a loan you’d better make sure that he agrees with the terms or else he’ll really make you pay.

It’s not unusual for Parker’s accomplices to try to rip him off after they pull a robbery, but this one plays out differently from the typical stab in the back. Instead of just trying to kill him and take all the loot these guys first try to talk Parker into coming in with them and using all the money they just stole to finance their next job which they claim will be a highly lu
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
Glenn Russell

Flashfire packs enough capers and intrigue and subplots into 275 pages, you'll have the sense you're reading a multivolume set of crime noir.

The frame: a trio of seasoned Texas heisters brings Parker in on a Nebraska bank robbery job. But when it comes time to divvy up the loot four ways, they tell Parker things are more complicated than simply handing him his share. They talk about a future jewelry heist in Palm Beach. They talk to Parker as if they're the ranchers and he's a hired hand.

As any
Michael Finocchiaro
For pure thrill and pleasure sort of summer reading, Richard Stark delivers some great stuff in Flashfire. Using his badass bad guy Parker, it is a sort of criminal Monte Cristo where Parker gets revenge on other bad guys that screwed him over. It's action is about as graphic and exciting as pulp fiction legend Elmore Leonard, but without the humour. It is nonetheless a gripping and fun read. Note that there are several comic book versions of Parker stories and they are quite well done. ...more
Dave Schaafsma
"Everybody's dead. Some people just don't know it yet"--Stark

I think #19 in the series is basically a solid 4 stars; it's as with other late Parkers, a tad too long, compared to the tighter, earlier Parkers, and I prefer 'em lean and mean(er). But it does have some remarkable dimensions I'll mention. The story is like The Hunter, #1, a tale of revenge for some guys taking Parker's $20K part of a heist cut. They do intend to pay him, after yet another job they'll do, but Parker has principles: Yo
Stylish action thriller 7/10
Reminiscent of Elmore Leonard
Will be tracking down more of this author, who I had never heard of before
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Parker pulls off a heist with a new crew, who want to invest the proceeds in a major jewel robbery on Palm Beach Island. When Parker refuses, they keep his share, promising to pay it back with interest after the job. Of course, this infuriates Parker, who immediately starts building a persona to get back at the crew. The daring plan is to steal $12 million from a highly-guarded estate auction to benefit the local library, and the plan works, but Parker and a desperate local real estate agent get ...more
Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 & associat
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

One of Westlake-as-Stark's best "Parker" entries.
When you pull a job with "Parker", make sure you pay him ALL of his share of the heist.
Pay the man in full at the conclusion of the job.
“Flashfire” is an amazing tour-de-force, even by the standards of Parker novels. It is one of the leanest, meanest, nastiest Parker novels ever to be published and, if you thought you knew what Parker was all about after reading the first eighteen Parker novels, you are in for a big surprise. This is a version of Parker that readers really haven’t seen since the first novel (“The Hunter”). Betrayed by a crew he was working with on a bank gig, Parker gets angry Parker-style and sets off on the cr ...more
May 01, 2007 rated it liked it
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
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noirboiled
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
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime, usa
Parker is book nineteen in the Parker series by Richard Stark. After his crew double-crossed him, Parker, wanted them to pay. To achieve this, Parker changes his appearance and his name and using unlikely source to hijack their heist to get back the money they stole. The readers of this book will continue to follow Parker to find out if he achieved his goal.

Parker was called initially Flashfire and an exciting and enjoyable book to read. Parker is the first book I have read of Richard Stark, an
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being a fan of Donald Westlake made me curious about the Stark series. So I began with this Parker episode and, despite being out of sequence in the series, enjoyed it quite well. I like the no nonsense character of Parker, a tough, perhaps ruthless bad guy who nonetheless harbors a moral compass and uses his wits,rather than his fists, whenever possible.
I'm just finishing my second Parker novel (more like a short story), "The Man With The Getaway Face," and finding it an entertaining diversion
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.
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Don't ever take money from Parker. This time I thought for sure he was going to get arrested or die. I'm completely obsessed.
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Usually I don't write reviews when the book is part of a long series. I felt I would be writing the same review over and over, and the Parker series fell into that category, but I'm making an exception for this one. This is the best of the series so far. 'nuff said. ...more
Jane Stewart
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mike (the Paladin)
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action, thriller
This Parker book (adventure) is the inspiration for a fairly recent movie (2013) staring Jason Statham as Parker. I didn't even hear of it when it was in the theaters but have since seen it (USA Network has it on On Demand now).

So doing my "due diligence" as movies based on books MUST be addressed in reviewing the book. In this case the movie isn't bad. They do a pretty good job of staying with the plot and destroy the book's plot with changes and deletions. I think Parker fans can feel safe in
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  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. ...more
Intense. Plowed through this 278-page thrill ride all in one day. Another masterpiece by Richard Stark. Only five Parker books to go and it looks like there will be no slowing down for any and all involved.

Next up: Firebreak.
Not the best, the meanest Parker novel but i enjoyed the calm,patience of Parker going after his targets. How when he was weakened, he had his quick,dangerous mind to lead him. He was in danger at times in the book of getting caught by the police, for the first time in many books.
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“When the dashboard clock read 2:40, Parker drove out of the drugstore parking lot and across the sunlit road to the convenience store/gas station.”
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely great read!
Bill Kelly
Features the standard Parker elements of precise action, sudden death and driven single-minded purpose, but also features some great satire on the lifestyle of the old money denizens of Palm Beach, Florida. Parker is more of a force than a person, so the book benefits from two well-drawn characters: Farley, a cop and Loretta, a woman who helps Parker out for her own reasons. Like Parker each is tightly focused on an objective (which definitely doesn't or may not include Parker's best interests) ...more
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent plotting as Parker must pull together a lot of money and a new identity quickly. Revenge is a Parker specialty. Great.
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The sixth Parker book I've read, and the best I've read. This is the last one I have (I got all 6 at the same time). Parker gets injured in this book and has to rely on a civilian for help. ...more
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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The best of all 28 novels? 2 6 May 13, 2016 07:34AM  

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A pseudonym used by Donald E. Westlake. ...more

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)

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