FLASHFIRE by Richard Stark
A PARKER NOVEL
The Mysterious Press, November 2000
After completing a bank robbery, Parker's 'partners' tell him the take is just the ante for the real heist. If he'll play along, he can make some real money. If not, they'll pay him later. Parker doesn't get mad, but he decides to get even, building a new identity that will allow him to travel in the rich world of Palm Beach, Florida. As he makes his way toward his 'collection,' he becomes aware that someone else is involved--someone powerful enough to be a serious threat.
FLASHFIRE is a disturbing novel. Although sometimes amusing and always intriguing, Parker is an amoral killer. Richard Stark does an excellent job presenting Parker sympathetically, but merely doing so makes his alien nature even more clear to the reader. Perhaps the fact that Parker will steal tens of thousands of dollars and spend months to get revenge for being hijacked out of twenty thousand dollars is the best characterization of this protagonist.
At 278 pages (in the hardback version), FLASHFIRE almost demands to be read at a single intensive sitting. While your skin may crawl at some of the things Parker does, you may well find yourself rooting for him.
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