Cover image for Firebreak : a Parker novel
Firebreak : a Parker novel
Stark, Richard.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Warner Books/Mysterious Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
297 pages ; 20 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Mystery
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order


Author Notes

Donald Edwin Westlake (July 12, 1933 - December 31, 2008) was an American writer, with over a hundred novels and non-fiction books to his credit. He specialized in crime fiction, especially comic capers, with an occasional foray into science fiction or other genres. He was a three-time Edgar Award winner, one of only three writers (the others are Joe Gores and William L. DeAndrea) to win Edgars in three different categories (1968, Best Novel, God Save the Mark; 1990, Best Short Story, "Too Many Crooks"; 1991, Best Motion Picture Screenplay, The Grifters). In 1993, the Mystery Writers of America named Westlake a Grand Master, the highest honor bestowed by the society.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Parker, master thief and unrelenting hard case, is between jobs when he gets a call from a couple of former associates who have a line on a millionaire's illegally obtained art collection. Parker is in, but before he can join his colleagues to case the millionaire's heavily secured hunting lodge in the Pacific Northwest, he needs to dispose of the body in his garage. (The dead man is an assassin hired by one of Parker's many enemies.) The art job requires a technogeek to crack the sophisticated security system, and Parker starts hearing warning bells when he learns that Larry Lloyd, still under electronic surveillance after serving time for computer fraud, has agreed to do the job. Matters get further complicated when a federal agent specializing in art theft also becomes suspicious of the millionaire. Like all of Stark's (aka Donald Westlake) Parker novels, this is a brutal yet compelling glimpse into the amoral world of crime and revenge. In Parker's world, crime may go unpunished, but no score goes unsettled. Wes Lukowsky

Publisher's Weekly Review

Parker and crew have their eyes on the contents of a secret vault in a billionaire's hunting lodge in this typically taut thriller written by Donald E. Westlake under his nom de noir, but first the tough antihero must deal, roughly, with some people trying to whack him. A Russian hit man provides the overture action as Parker attracts the attention of enemies from the past and meets the killer mercilessly. Parker spends much of the rest of the book seeking out the source of the contract, gradually learning that his current job has brought his name and whereabouts to the surface. The job is one his old partners, Elkins and Wiss, have put on the table: a stash of paintings by Old Masters stolen from museums around the world and kept in dot-com mogul Paxton Marino's Montana lodge for his personal pleasure. To get past Marino's sophisticated electronic safeguards, they need help from a computer-nerd-gone-bad, really bad, named Lloyd. The author delivers this novel with the economy of a 1950s paperback original ("Twelve thousand dollars in twenties and fifties was rolled into an orange juice concentrate can in the freezer"), but slips in enough plot twists and surprises to satisfy the most modern audience (no heist ever written by Stark/Westlake comes off without lots of hitches). That Parker, on general principles, doesn't bump off Lloyd at first sight almost seems like a sign of weakness, but it's the only one in this deliciously nasty read. (Nov. 14) Forecast: Coming on the heels of Flashfire (2000), the last Parker novel, this one promises to be just as big a hit for MWA Grand Master and three-time Edgar-winner Westlake. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Stark (Backflash, LJ 9/1/98), a pseudonym for prolific crime-fiction writer Donald E. Westlake, offers another adventure in his long-running "Parker" series. This latest shows that Stark retains the gift for careful plotting and darkly humorous circumstances that can make his books a joy to read for patrons who don't mind the violence. Parker, once described by critic Stanley Bart as a thief who "gets annoyed and kills everybody," has mellowed a bit over time. Though the novel begins with Parker's calmly killing a man while being called to the phone, he keeps his rampages to a minimum as the book progresses. He stays focused on the jobs at hand, first helping to steal a treasure trove of art that a dot-com billionaire has secreted away and then finding out who sent the man in the garage to kill him. Parker is amoral and ruthless, but he's not cruel. He is surrounded by people who are also amoral but evil or stupid as well, which allows him to play the hero's role by being calm and thorough and by being a survivor. Recommended for public libraries. Patrick J. Wall, University City P.L., MO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.