Flashfire

Richard Stark, Author Mysterious Press $22.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-89296-710-0
How does Stark know so much about the mechanics of crime? In this latest installment of the miraculously revitalized career of master criminal Parker (after 1999's Backflash), Stark (aka Donald Westlake) blithely reveals how to use a telephone repairman's tools to check if a house is empty, how to find cash to steal in an increasingly electronic economy, how to launder money by making up a fictitious church. He does this all without boasting or moralizing, describing Parker's abilities and stomping grounds in the clean, pungent, poetically understated prose that makes him one of our best noir novelists. ""The condos along the narrow strip of island south of the main part of Palm Beach yearn toward a better life: something English, somewhere among the landed gentry,"" Stark writes about Florida's temple to wealth and privilege. Parker has come to Palm Beach because three associates have just done the unthinkable: cheated him out of his share of the money from a bank heist. With the deadly precision of a heat-seeking missile, barely deterred by serious attempts on his life because he happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, Parker messes up the plans of his former colleagues in a major way. This is great, dirty fun: you can't help seeing the pouchy face of Lee Marvin (who played ParkerDrenamed WalkerDin Point Blank, based on an early Stark book) as you turn the pages. In the 23-year gap between the 20th and 21st Parker episodes, Westlake has recharged his batteries with a formula he should market to other writers. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/30/2000
Release date: 11/01/2000
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FORMATS
Hardcover - 328 pages - 978-0-7862-2940-6
Hardcover - 312 pages - 978-0-7090-6958-4
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-446-67790-5
Paperback - 247 pages - 978-1-84724-210-5
Book - 978-0-7927-9452-3
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-7595-4031-6
Paperback - 278 pages - 978-0-226-77062-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-62064-438-6
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