Saturday, January 28, 2017


A group of professional thieves break into a remote Montana hunting lodge, an outpost owned by a dot com billionaire. They expect to find the usual loot and treasures but they find something more than they bargained for: a secret cache of stolen artwork, masterpieces from around the world that have all been reported as missing or stolen. Before they can begin to pilfer the paintings, two members of the gang are caught. Two escape and begin to plot a return visit for the artwork. But to pull this job off, they're going to need help. They're going to need Parker.

Trouble is, Parker is currently a bit busy. Someone from one of his past scores is trying to kill him. He must tie up these loose ends first before he can fully devote himself to the heist. Of course, he does so with the usual Parker tenacity. But several "x factors" have now been added to the robbery equation, factors that could cause things to go disastrously wrong.

FIREBREAK (2001) is the twentieth published adventure of Richard Stark's (Donald Westlake) master thief Parker. I haven't read all of the Parker novels but I have yet to read one that I didn't love. It's a cliche to say that "the pages practically turned themselves" but it's true in this case. Don't start reading this one if you have something else to do because you'll get sucked in from the first page. This is a classic Stark crime novel, pedal to the metal, lean and mean, propelled by stripped to the bone prose and dialog. Tough, fast and gritty, this is one helluva fun ride.

Highest recommendation.

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