Between Parker’s 1961 debut and his return in the late 1990s, the world of crime changed considerably. Now fake IDs and credit cards had to be purchased from specialists; increasingly sophisticated policing made escape and evasion tougher; and, worst of all, money had gone digital - the days of cash-stuffed payroll trucks were long gone. Firebreak takes Parker to a palatial Montana "hunting lodge" where a dot-com millionaire hides a gallery of stolen old masters - which will fetch Parker a pretty penny if his team can just get it past the mansion’s tight security. The forests of Montana are an inhospitable place for a heister when well-laid plans fall apart, but no matter how untamed the wilderness, Parker’s guaranteed to be the most dangerous predator around.
©2011 Richard Stark (P)2013 AudioGO
"Parker…lumbers through the pages of Richard Stark’s noir novels scattering dead bodies like peanut shells…In a complex world [he] makes things simple." (New York Times)
"Whatever Stark writes, I read. He’s a stylist, a pro, and I thoroughly enjoy his attitude." (Elmore Leonard, New York Times best-selling author)
"Parker is a true treasure…The master thief is back, along with Richard Stark." (New York Times Book Review)
My mind wandered.
There seemed to be more characters than normal in this book. Toward the end I was confused about some of them. Maybe because a lot was going on in my personal life. Or maybe the book wasn’t as good as others in the series.
There are two stories. The better story is about a hit man after Parker. It’s a continuation with Paul and Max who Parker met in Bk 12 “The Sour Lemon Score.” I loved the scene where Parker gets to them. It reminded me of feelings of fear in the movie “Jaws.”
The second story is about stealing art from a hunting lodge in Montana. An interesting part of that story was Parker interacting with a young-computer-hacker-genius. But the rest of the story about the heist was muddled. It might be better read than listened to. Not sure.
I was disappointed that the 2011 Forward by Terry Teachout was in the physical book but not in this audiobook. I’ve enjoyed all the forwards in this series.
The narrator Stephen R. Thorne was good, but I wish he had a rougher, darker, more menacing voice for Parker. His Parker voice was too clean cut and normal sounding.
This is book 20 in the 24 book series. These stories are about bad guys. They rob. They kill. They’re smart. Most don’t go to jail. Parker is the main bad guy, a brilliant strategist. He partners with different guys for different jobs in each book.
If you are new to the series, I suggest reading the first three and then choose among the rest. A few should be read in order since characters continue in a sequel fashion. Those are listed below (with my star ratings). The rest can be read as stand alones.
The first three books in order:
4 stars. The Hunter (Point Blank movie with Lee Marvin 1967) (Payback movie with Mel Gibson)
3 ½ stars. The Man with the Getaway Face (The Steel Hit)
4 stars. The Outfit.
Read these two in order:
5 stars. Slayground (Bk #14)
5 stars. Butcher’s Moon (Bk #16)
Read these four in order:
4 ½ stars. The Sour Lemon Score (Bk #12)
2 ½ stars. Firebreak (Bk #20)
(not read) Nobody Runs Forever (Bk #22)
2 ½ stars. Dirty Money (Bk #24)
Others that I gave 4 or more stars to:
The Jugger (Bk #6), The Seventh (Bk#7), The Handle (Bk #8), Deadly Edge (Bk#13), Flashfire (Bk#19)
GENRE: noir crime fiction
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