Read Flashfire by Richard Stark Terry Teachout Online


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.But cash isn’t everything: Flashfire aBetween 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.But cash isn’t everything: Flashfire and Firebreak find Parker going after, respectively, a fortune in jewels and a collection of priceless paintings. In Flashfire, Parker’s in West Palm Beach, competing with a crew that has an unhealthy love of explosions; when things go sour, Parker finds himself shot and trapped—and forced to rely on a civilian to survive. 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. “Like all of Stark’s Parker novels, Firebreak is a brutal yet compelling glimpse into the amoral world of crime and revenge.”—Booklist “The action [in Flashfire] is nonstop. . . . The awful fascination in these Parker tales comes from knowing the protagonist will always do whatever is necessary to protect himself and to achieve his goals.”—Wall Street Journal...

Title : Flashfire
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780226770628
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 278 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Flashfire Reviews

  • Dan Schwent
    2019-04-06 23:59

    This is the book the upcoming Parker movie starring Jason Statham is based on.Parker helps a crew on a bank job and then they take off with his money. Parker goes after them like a bloodhound, gathering money and planning to take their next heist out from under them. Only the man who furnished Parker with a new identity is gunned down and the killer is coming for Parker! Can Parker get his money and avoid getting dead?Flashfire is one of the non-standard Parker books. Parker is out to steal back his money from the guys who stiffed him in the first place. It feels a little like The Hunter in that regard. Parker certainly goes through the wringer in this one. Flashfire definitely showcases Parker's toughness and tenacity. I liked Parker's relationship with Leslie Mackenzie and I really liked the interplay between Parker and the sheriff. As always, the fun came with watching Parker deal with the complications.Any gripes? Just the same ones I have with all of the post-Butcher's Moon Parker books so far. For what it was, it was at least seventy pages too long. There was a lot of extraneous crap and it felt more like a Westlake book than a Richard Stark. The reason people were on Parker's trail also seemed a little weak.While it's not my favorite Parker, it's still a worthy part of the Parker canon. An easy three stars.

  • Michael Finocchiaro
    2019-04-09 19:02

    For pure thrill and pleasure sort of summer reading, Richard Stark delivers some great stuff in Flashfire. Using his badass bad guy Parker, it is a sort of criminal Monte Cristo where Parker gets revenge on other bad guys that screwed him over. It's action is about as graphic and exciting as pulp fiction legend Elmore Leonard, but without the humour. It is nonetheless a gripping and fun read. Note that there are several comic book versions of Parker stories and they are quite well done.

  • Mark
    2019-04-09 02:04

    So this book is one of those were Richard Stark made Parker return after too many years of absence, and he does so quite well. Parker is still at the top of his game.This is also the book that lays the foundation for Jason Stathams 'Parker" movie which turned out not to be such a bad movie after all it actually managed to stay fairly close to the book even if the openings scene for the movie at the state fair was not by Stark but a very good done heist.Parker does this heist and when the dust settles he finds out that his stake in the heist is actually seed money for a bigger heist, something Parker did not know and does not agree to. But as far as guns go he has little option but to agree on the matter. When the gents walk away with Parker's share of the loot they leave him behind alive.Parker knows their traveling target nothing about the actual score but he himself starts traveling in the direction his former co-workers went and while he does so he pulls some robberies by himself which are like all Parker stories well detailed on his way to establish what happened with his money.He finds himself into trouble when the forger he went to ends up in a little problem of his own, namely one of his customers wants the forger dead and there is Parker finding himself into the middle of things. They even hound him all the way to Palm Beach were they are as welcome in Parker's plans as paupers in Palm Beach.This episode in Parker's life is as dark as any but there seems to be some more witticism around which makes this book a pleasure to read, as did so many before in this series. As for the movie I am afraid it remains one of my guilty pleasures and I do hope we see Jason Statham in another Parker movie.

  • Mike
    2019-04-10 02:07

    I know that “Flashfire” was published in 2000, but this book feels like it was written three or four decades earlier. In this book I experienced the same rush that I felt when reading “The Man with the Getaway Face”. I can see why some lament the change in tone of the later Parker novels. I think that I am in that camp, too. Maybe not stringently, but I definitely like the punch and pacing of this book.Like all Parker novels, the action comes in right at the start. In this one, Parker & associates pull off a bank job that executes virtually flawlessly. Then, trouble steps in. Parker’s new friends want to borrow most of his share to setup another, larger heist. Problem is they neglected to discuss this with Parker beforehand. They don’t want to kill him and they do their best to placate him, then they take off. Parker, of course, has other things in mind. He’s been robbed and he does not like it.We are then treated to a whirlwind of crime as Parker quickly and efficiently amasses a huge amount of cash, launders it, gets a supply of weapons, and finally builds a new persona that should survive inspection long enough to achieve his revenge. This tour-de-force of planning and execution is the pinnacle of criminal expertise. We don’t know how Parker learned how to do these things (and keep out of the hand of the law while doing them). From the earliest books it is like Athena springing fully formed (and armed!) from Zeus’ forehead – it’s always there when you need it.By my count it seems that Parker gets more cash than the bank job in a matter of days and without needing anyone else. So, why did he go along with the original robbery? This is something that I would think exposes him to more risk, rather than less. But maybe Parker sees it differently – more people mean more targets in case something unexpected happens or someone gets lucky.The rest of the book is concerned with Parker at the location of the big heist: he sets himself up to be above suspicion and looks to discover the whereabouts of his former associates. Once that is done, he aims to kill them and take possession of their loot. Pretty straightforward you would think.Well, that’s not quite how the last half of this one plays out. There are a couple of additional characters that strongly interact with Parker’s plans, there’s a deadly little complication from earlier in the book, and Parker just makes it to the end of this one. Just as we watched the crime spree, we now get to watch Parker pull off a virtuoso performance of tap-dancing around disaster. Since I have read so few Parker books I can’t judge whether the injuries he sustains are very unusual or not. (Of the four or five that I have read I think he is injured in two. One of which is not too serious.)I don’t think any of this could be called padding. Oh sure, maybe there could have been a little less dialog with some of the secondary or tertiary characters (or even background), but all-in-all it was a great hard-boiled story. Great writing, great action, great sarcasm - This one is going to be hard to top.

  • Adam
    2019-04-10 19:07

    Like nearly every other Richard Stark book, this could just as easily have been entitled The Wrong Guy to Mess With. And I mean that as praise. Part of the pleasure of reading a Parker novel is knowing what you're going to get; a heist, a double-cross, a clockwork plot, and a satisfying conclusion in which Parker kills his betrayers and recovers his money. Unfortunately, Flashfire is too long and its story is unnecessarily convoluted. Perhaps the changing demands of the publishing industry are to blame. Back in the '60s most of the Parker novels were cheap paperback pulps that came in at around 150 pages, but now people feel ripped off paying big bucks for a hardcover unless it's at least double that length. Nevertheless, Flashfire is well-written and a lot of fun to read, and still ten times better than most of the books Westlake's younger imitators are churning out.

  • David
    2019-04-15 17:45

    After the Great Parker Hiatus, Ronald Starlake restarted the series with a sequence of linked titles: Comeback, Backflash, Flashfire, Firebreak, and Breakout. Of these five, only Breakout (one of my favorite Parker novels) is distinct in my mind; the others blur together, much as Starklake’s titles suggest that he intended. Thus, when the movie Parker was announced as an adaptation of Flashfire, I couldn’t exactly remember which novel that was, but I chose not to worry about it. I wanted to see the movie on its own terms, so I decided against a pre-screening Flashfire refresher course. Then I went to see Parker, and, much to my surprise, at no point during the movie could I remember anything about Flashfire. The experience was both perplexing and alarming: Is this really an adaptation of a novel that I have read? And, more urgently, am I slipping into some sort of dementia?For me, the nicest thing about writing these reviews is that I can use them as crutch for remembering what I have read. Therefore, immediately after Parker I went to read my review of Flashfire, and I discovered, to my complete and utter relief and joy, that I had not read it! I had made this mistake because of those dastardly similar titles in combination with my mistaken belief that I owned all of the Parker novels, when in fact I owned all of them but Flashfire. When Flashfire came to the top of the list, I couldn’t read what I didn’t own, so I mistakenly read Firebreak instead. Never have I been happier to be old and easily confused! Only a few weeks ago, I finished the last Parker novel, Dirty Money, and I mourned. But then! lo! a miracle! A new Parker novel (to me, at least!) all but dropped from the heavens!But what a strange circumstance for reading my (actual) last Parker novel, with Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez swimming around in my head. Not once while reading Flashfire did I see Jason Statham’s face, but Jennifer Lopez was Leslie Mackenzie. There was nothing I could do about that. Oh, well. The most significant effect that seeing Parker had on my reading of Flashfire is this: Flashfire became a remarkable demonstration that the power of the Parker novels is in the prose, not the plots. The plots, of course, are often brilliant, but while reading Flashfire it was easy to what the movie is missing. You get some of Starklake’s sociopathically stripped language in the dialogue, but where you need it most is in the action, which is precisely where Parker can’t give it to you. So, instead, they give you Parker hanging from a balcony with a knife stabbed completely through his hand—and it’s just not as good.

  • Ed [Redacted]
    2019-03-25 17:52

    When he heard the new Parker movie was based on this book, Ed thought he should read it again.After a re-read, I still find this to be a middle of the road Parker book. Not bad, there is no "bad" Parker book, but not his best by some distance.

  • Dave
    2019-04-14 18:53

    “Flashfire” is an amazing tour-de-force, even by the standards of Parker novels. It is one of the leanest, meanest, nastiest Parker novels ever to be published and, if you thought you knew what Parker was all about after reading the first eighteen Parker novels, you are in for a big surprise. This is a version of Parker that readers really haven’t seen since the first novel (“The Hunter”). Betrayed by a crew he was working with on a bank gig, Parker gets angry Parker-style and sets off on the cross-country one-man crime spree the likes of which is just mind-blowing. Forget all the careful planning and getaway routes and safe houses, this is a Parker who feels more like a junkyard dog, quick on the trigger, without remorse. Of course, there is a caper at the heart of this book. There always is. A fabulous jewelry robbery that Parker wanted no part of. It wasn’t good in his eyes. There weren’t good getaway routes. There wasn’t a good safe house to hole up in. There was too much security. Too many eyes. But, Parker was betrayed and he is going to deal with this crew that betrayed him.This book is as good as any Parker book. It is filled with action throughout and narrated in the tight style that Westlake is famous for. Sure, this was made into a movie with Jennifer Lopez playing the Miami Beach real estate agent, but read the book. There is a reason why people for four decades have gobbled up Parker book after Parker book and it’s gotta be because the writing is so damn good.

  • Harold
    2019-04-14 23:50

    Usually I don't write reviews when the book is part of a long series. I felt I would be writing the same review over and over, and the Parker series fell into that category, but I'm making an exception for this one. This is the best of the series so far. 'nuff said.

  • Jane Stewart
    2019-04-12 19:49

    This was pretty good, not the best Parker, but above average. The ending was very feel good.This was different in that Parker needed help when he was shot and in the hospital. He had to trust and rely on a woman he recently met. I love the way Parker gets revenge on people who cross him which he does here. I liked what Parker did to the bad guys’ hideout home and guns.I especially liked one line. Parker is describing to Leslie how the bad guys are going to rob a charity auction - coming in or leaving by sea wearing scuba gear. Leslie said “Like James Bond.” Parker said “More like Jaws.” These are really bad guys - not cool like James Bond.The narrator Mark Peckham was ok, but his voice for Parker didn’t fit. He made Parker sound too normal. I prefer Keith Szarabajka.THE SERIES:This is book 19 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)DATA:Narrative mode: 3rd person. Unabridged audiobook length: 7 hrs and 14 mins. Swearing language: none. Sexual content: none. Setting: around 2000 mostly Palm Beach, Florida. Book copyright: 2000. Genre: noir crime fiction.

  • Jeff
    2019-03-23 00:42

    Someone stole Parker's money and he wants it back and he wants the man, actually three men, who stole it dead. Okay, if you've read enough Parker books you know that if Parker wants someone dead, they're gonna get dead and, of course, Parker always gets his money back with interest. You know all this when you start the book, but you still enjoy reading about how it all unfolds. I don't think I've read a series of books as well written and overall as consistent as Stark's (Westlake's) Parker series. It's good stuff.

  • K
    2019-03-29 21:53

    Being a fan of Donald Westlake made me curious about the Stark series. So I began with this Parker episode and, despite being out of sequence in the series, enjoyed it quite well. I like the no nonsense character of Parker, a tough, perhaps ruthless bad guy who nonetheless harbors a moral compass and uses his wits,rather than his fists, whenever possible. I'm just finishing my second Parker novel (more like a short story), "The Man With The Getaway Face," and finding it an entertaining diversion as well.

  • Ed
    2019-03-30 17:51

    It's good to return to Parker land. This time our favorite hardboiled thief is in on a jewelry heist pulled in ritzy Palm Beach, Florida. Things don't quite work out as planned, and Parker has to improvise like he always does. This entry in the series uses more humor which I find refreshing. Fans of Richard Stark's Parker series should find this one a satisfactory read, too.

  • Martin
    2019-04-07 22:51

    Intense. Plowed through this 278-page thrill ride all in one day. Another masterpiece by Richard Stark. Only five Parker books to go and it looks like there will be no slowing down for any and all involved.Next up: Firebreak.

  • Mohammed
    2019-04-16 23:56

    Not the best, the meanest Parker novel but i enjoyed the calm,patience of Parker going after his targets. How when he was weakened, he had his quick,dangerous mind to lead him. He was in danger at times in the book of getting caught by the police, for the first time in many books.

  • Andreas
    2019-04-05 18:06

    Absolutely great read!

  • Erik
    2019-04-08 23:02

    “When the dashboard clock read 2:40, Parker drove out of the drugstore parking lot and across the sunlit road to the convenience store/gas station.”

  • Lynn
    2019-04-17 20:49

    Excellent plotting as Parker must pull together a lot of money and a new identity quickly. Revenge is a Parker specialty. Great.

  • Patrick
    2019-03-28 21:08

    The sixth Parker book I've read, and the best I've read. This is the last one I have (I got all 6 at the same time). Parker gets injured in this book and has to rely on a civilian for help.

  • Linda
    2019-04-22 23:06

    It took me awhile to find out Donald Westlake had published under several names. I'm very familiar with and absolutely love his Dortmunder series and the book of his nonfiction that was published after his death.So I thought I'd try this.Good choice.Don't ever cheat Parker. You'll regret it just as these three did when they "borrowed" part of Parker's share of the loot from a heist to finance a larger one they had planned. They had also planned to have Parker in on it. But he won't join. Then he starts planning. Two months until their heist in Palm Beach. Parker carefully establishes a new identity and opens several bank accounts in Houston under several names. He rents an apartment. He takes his time setting up everything so he can't be traced.And then he stumbles into a bad scene when he goes to pick up his new identity papers. The dealer is being held by 3 unknowns. They, and the dealer's lieutenant, manage to get killed. By Parker.And their handler doesn't forgive.Parker finds when he reaches Palm Beach that, as he is stalking and preparing to get his revenge on the three that "borrowed" money from him, someone else is stalking and planning revenge on him.Add to the mix a realtor who really wants out of her current life and will do nearly anything. No strings attached. She does some homework and discovers that Parker's new identity is only 2 months old and offers herself to help him in whatever he's doing to get a stake to get her out of her current life.So much going on. So much fun to watch. And extra easy to read straight through. You won't want to stop.

  • Alex Gherzo
    2019-03-27 17:41

    Flashfire is disappointing because for the first two-thirds of the book, it's on its way to being one of the best Parker capers, but the last leg is a letdown. After pulling a heist with three new partners, Parker is offered part of a big job in West Palm Beach. When he declines, his partners steal his share of the loot to fund the robbery. Their mistake is leaving Parker alive. Spoilers...The opening of the book is great, as Parker is robbed by his fellow heisters when he refuses to go in on a new job with them. Parker intends to find them, kill them and get his money back, but first he's got to acquire the funds to get to Florida. This leads to a series of robberies where Parker builds up his cash reserve. They're small-time, but there are so many of them the pace is relentless, and each one showcases different talents of Parker's.When he finally gets to West Palm Beach -- and decides to let the traitors pull off their heist so he can take all the loot -- Parker is forced to team up with a real estate agent who's figured out why he's in town and wants in on his plan; he contemplates killing her (of course he does), but decides it'll be better to keep her along, lest people miss her and start asking questions. This is yet another new setup: Parker joining forces with a complete amateur. Claire was similarly a novice in The Rare Coin Score, but she'd at least had some experience and was a part of the plan from the beginning. Leslie has no idea what she's doing and she screws up big several times. It's fun to see Parker have to put up with her, and her fate is up in the air until the very end because we all know Parker is perfectly capable of killing her. There are plenty of great elements to Flashfire. In addition to the guys who shanghaied him, Parker has to deal with a series of assassins sent after him by the man who killed the forger who set up Parker's phony identity; they think Parker might know who their boss is and they want to shut him up. There's also a wily local cop who can tell something's not right with Parker. Finally, his interactions with Claire are enjoyable. He calls her once the other thieves take his money and tells her to leave the house and meet him in Miami, and Claire does it without a word of protest; when Parker shows up at her hotel, she isn't even mad. They're used to each other by now, comfortable in their relationship, and a potential murder/robbery is just par for the course. Even when she's not involved, Claire is present in Parker's heart (one imagines she's the only thing in there). When he has time to kill before taking care of his betrayers, Parker decides to go to Miami and spend his downtime with Claire. When Leslie shows that she's attracted to him, Parker says, "Claire is the only house I ever want to be in... All her doors and windows are open, but only for me." He'd never say the words out loud, but Parker loves her. It's so disappointing, then, when Parker spends the end of the book mostly inert. The thing we're most waiting for is to see him kill his old partners, but it doesn't happen. Two are shot by the cops, the other by Leslie. Parker played a role, having removed the firing pins from their guns so they'd be defenseless and hidden the gun Leslie is able to use, but it isn't what I was hoping for. The scene where he gets away from the first two hit men is a joke as well; they're about to kill Parker when they're shot to death by a random white supremacist militia group marching in the swamp. That's not a joke; a bunch of militia nuts come out of nowhere, kill the two hit men and leave, a complete deus ex machina. It would've been more fun seeing a wounded Parker have to try to get the better of his pursuers in the swamp. The next hit man is just arrested in the hospital, with no confrontation whatsoever. This entire subplot feels like a way to kill time and pad out the book; it would've been fine if Parker actually got to do something, but instead it's just a waste. The way it ends leaves things open for their boss to come back, but I doubt it.Before the ending, Flashfire is terrific. If it had just held on, it would've been a top 5 Parker.

  • Trashy Dreams
    2019-04-10 18:09

    Parker really gets beat up in this one. And the standard heist-goes-wrong formula is a little different this time around, which made for an interesting change. Nothing too noteworthy otherwise, but still a good Parker yarn.

  • Andrew Witt
    2019-03-30 00:42

    Damn fine readA most enjoyable book. Well written and paced. Parker is indeed a very nice bad guy. The storyline runs along well and finishes even better.

  • Mike Jensen
    2019-03-23 22:42

    After four substandard books in this otherwise remarkable series, Donald Westlake writing as Richard Stark is back in form. Good thing. I was about to give up.

  • Russ
    2019-04-17 20:43

    Parker not being Parker toward the end, least favorite Parker book so far

  • Sarah
    2019-03-25 20:57

    My favorite Parker novel yet!

  • Brett Thomasson
    2019-04-11 02:10

    Donald Westlake wrote quite a bit, and among the many top-quality works he offered were a series of novels about the professional thief Parker. He published these under the pseudonym "Richard Stark," in a group from 1962 to 1974, and then picking them up again in 1997 until his death in 2008. Flashfire is a part of the later group, published in 2000.Flashfire opens with Parker and three other thieves -- Melander, Carlson and Ross -- finishing a successful heist. Parker, having provided the distraction to let the other three rob a bank, meets up with them to split the take and return home. When he finds that the trio actually planned to use the money from this job to finance one much larger -- and riskier -- he decides to take his money and bow out. But they need his money to finance their second job, so guns are drawn, crosses are doubled and Parker is left with a fraction of his share and a promise he'll get paid back. What the other three will learn is that Parker's going to handle the paybacks and he'll make sure they get exactly what they've got coming to them.Westlake made Parker hardboiled enough to crack a black hole, and tells his story in straightforward, unadorned style that resembles Evan Hunter's "87th Precinct" work as Ed McBain -- if Hunter's work qualified as "police procedurals," Westlake's might be thought of as "crime procedurals." Flashfire does offer some interesting extras in the person of Leslie Mackenzie, a realtor Parker uses who has a sharper eye than most people and bigger dreams about her future that she thinks he might be able to bring about. Parker's also trying to figure out who sent a hit team after him and how he can get that particular wrinkle ironed out without dying. Even with some different layers, Flashfire is a perfect example of how a great writer can ratchet up tension, describe intricate details, paint vividly realized characters and tell a fantastic story with the same words you'd find in a Tom Swift book -- certain adult Anglo-Saxon expressions aside, of course.Parker presents a conundrum for a reader -- he's our main point of view character and our protagonist. We tend to root for those people when we read novels, but this particular protagonist is also a vicious criminal. Throughout the series, we see Parker presented as a man who won't kill unless he has to, but of course he's the one who defines whether or not he has to, and many of those decisions don't involve self-defense. The people in his shadowy world have made their own bed, of course, and there are those like Leslie who choose to risk entering it and so can be held responsible for rolling their own dice. But some just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and their lives end in order to ensure Parker can escape or that no information about him can get out. That's practical, pragmatic and just common sense in Parker's world, but it's not admirable.I've no problem calling myself a Westlake fan -- or even a Stark fan, given that Westlake's other books come with a different enough voice that most folks could probably tell the difference even with a cover and all distinguishing names removed. But I can't say I'm much of a Parker fan, and I'm certainly glad to encounter him only in the black and white of the printed page where he works. Original available here.

  • George K.
    2019-03-22 18:42

    Φυσικά συγγραφέας δεν είναι άλλος από τον Ντόναλντ Γουέστλεϊκ, που με το ψευδώνυμο Ρίτσαρντ Σταρκ έγραψε τα βιβλία της σειράς Πάρκερ καθώς και τα λιγότερο γνωστά βιβλία της σειράς Άλαν Γκρόφιλντ και με το κανονικό του όνομα τα βιβλία της σειράς Ντόρτμουντερ, κάποια βιβλία για την σειρά Hard Case Crime και κάποια άλλα εκτός σειρών. Ένα περίεργο πράμα, φέτος μεταφράστηκαν δυο βιβλία του, το Πως να κλέψετε μια τράπεζα από τις εκδόσεις Άγρα, που είναι το δεύτερο βιβλίο της κωμικής αστυνομικής σειράς με ήρωα τον Ντόρτμουντερ, το οποίο διάβασα τον Ιούνιο, και το Ανάφλεξη, που είναι το δέκατο ένατο βιβλίο της σειράς Πάρκερ, στο οποίο βασίζεται η καινούργια ταινία με πρωταγωνιστή τον Τζέισον Στέιθαμ, και άκουσα ότι θα μεταφραστεί και μια νουβέλα με τον τίτλο Ordo από τις εκδόσεις Άγρα! Με βάση λοιπόν το βιβλίο αυτό, μπορώ να πω ότι τα βιβλία της σειράς Πάρκερ ταιριάζουν απόλυτα στα γούστα μου. Μακάρι να μην ήταν έτσι, μακάρι να μην μου άρεσε, έτσι μπορεί να μην σιχτίριζα του εκδοτικούς οίκους που έχουν μεταφράσει κάποια εντελώς μάπα και άγνωστα αστυνομικά βιβλία και έχουν δώσει ελάχιστη έως καμία σημασία σε συγγραφείς όπως ο Ντόναλντ Γουέστλεϊκ (υπάρχουν και άλλοι πολλοί, το ίδιο ενδιαφέροντες, που δεν έχει μεταφραστεί στα ελληνικά ούτε μια αράδα τους...). Όσον αφορά την ιστορία του βιβλίου: Στην αρχή ο Πάρκερ κάνει μια ληστεία με τρεις άλλους τύπους, γνωστούς ενός φίλου του. Η δουλειά, αρκετά εφετζίδικη για τα γούστα του Πάρκερ, γίνεται ωραία και καλά, αλλά ο Πάρκερ μαθαίνει ότι τα λεφτά προορίζονται για την χρηματοδότηση ενός μεγαλύτερου κόλπου στο Παλμ Μπιτς της Φλώριδας, της ληστείας μια συλλογής κοσμημάτων αξίας δώδεκα εκατομμυρίων δολαρίων από μια "φιλανθρωπική" εκδήλωση. Ο Πάρκερ ξινίζει τα μούτρα του, πιστεύει ότι τον κορόιδεψαν, οπότε φεύγει μακριά τους, αλλάζει ταυτότητα, κάνει διάφορες ληστείες για να έχει ένα καλό μπάτζετ, και πάει προς το Παλμ Μπιτς για να κλέψει τους κλέφτες... Εκεί θα μπλεχτεί με μια μεσίτρια που θέλει να ξεφύγει από την μίζερη ζωή της, αλλά και με κάτι πληρωμένους δολοφόνους που θέλουν να τον σκοτώσουν επειδή βρέθηκε στο λάθος μέρος την λάθος στιγμή λίγες βδομάδες πριν... Σαφώς πιο σοβαρό και βίαιο αστυνομικό από το Πως να κλέψετε μια τράπεζα που διάβασα πριν κάτι εβδομάδες, αλλά οπωσδήποτε υπάρχει μια ευχάριστη νότα στην ατμόσφαιρα. Η ιστορία είναι ενδιαφέρουσα, υπάρχει μπόλικη δράση και δυνατές σκηνές, η ατμόσφαιρα είναι ωραία, οι χαρακτήρες κλασικοί για το είδος αυτό, αστυνομικοί, δολοφόνοι, μικροαπατεώνες, ερασιτέχνες που θέλουν να ξεφύγουν από την μίζερη ζωή τους και λοιπά. Η γραφή φυσικά σε υψηλά επίπεδα και οι περιγραφές επίσης πολύ καλές. Δεν του βάζω άριστα γιατί θα αδικούσα άλλα βιβλία, αλλά σίγουρα τ'άξιζε τα λεφτά του και έμεινα πολύ ευχαριστημένος - όπως το περίμενα άλλωστε! Υπάρχει πιθανότητα του χρόνου να μεταφραστεί και άλλο βιβλίο της σειράς Πάρκερ από τις εκδόσεις Νεφέλη, όπως και να έχει όμως, σίγουρα θα διαβάσω μερικά βιβλία του στ'αγγλικά. Έχω μερικά σε pdf μορφή, και είτε θα τα εκτυπώσω, είτε θα τα διαβάσω σε tablet.

  • Tyler Capra
    2019-04-20 20:05

    Parker is a mysterious character that reveals very little about himself. Each piece of information that is learned about him is spread out throughout the book. In the beginning, he and his other coworkers are nothing more than some mediocre shoplifters. But as the story progresses, they show interest into a much larger scale job. A 12 million dollar job. Parker decides that he is out, and finds himself pitted against his old friends and racing them with a civilian that has no idea what she's getting into. Parker is injured and in a hospital bed and is relying on his civilian friend to help him survive. The story takes many turns, that are sometimes hard to understand and may need to be re-read.The theme of this book is definitely more dark, but keeps the action up so the plot doesn't get too slow. "Before the ball, all of the jewelry is transported by armored car, and displayed under heavy guard, behind glass and behind electrified fence." This describes part of Parker's situation and the genre as well. Parker is one of those characters that is never fully described in great detail, but can be very understood by the reader. Parker's absolute and very straight-forward thinking defines him as a character. He does the job, gets it done quietly and without much hesitation.Parker is definitely one of my new favorite books. Its somewhat consistent action makes the book interesting and more of a fun challenge to read. I enjoyed the characters that were introduced and how they were integrated into the plot. Not just as place holders, but as essential pieces to the story.The plot stays consistent and keeps with the story, doesn't vary from the original story. Overall I would say this book is something fresh to read, not just another action book. With a genre that usually isn't seen too much in books.

  • Jim
    2019-04-19 00:54

    More of a 2.5, so I'm rounding down to distinguish it from the majority. As Lawrence Block pointed out so well in a forward a book or two ago, the Parker series is formulaic. It's a great formula that I've spent many a pleasant hour reading & listening to. But formulas must adhere to some stringent rules for me to enjoy them. This one stretched several badly.The book was over-long for a Parker novel. I didn't ding Butcher's Moon for that, which was much longer, but in this case there was a fair amount of fluff. (view spoiler)[ This includes the whole assassination attempts & his wounding.(hide spoiler)] It wasn't awful by most standards, though.I didn't like the amount of money & jobs he pulled alone in the middle since they knock the legs out of the reason Parker pulls complicated heists with strangers.What was with the hands? The deputy can tell by looking at his hands that they're lethal? Yes, Parker has become timeless, but not a Karate master. (view spoiler)[ And he lets the deputy drive him so close to his destination?(hide spoiler)] Not what I'd expect of Parker.There was a different reader this time that I didn't care for much. He wasn't awful, but not up to the previous standards. Bad Parker voice.Overall, not great, but not awful. Admittedly, I have high standards for this series & this is the 19th book. I'll continue reading the series. I have #20 & will listen to it soon. I've listened to #23 & 24 already. My library doesn't yet have #21 & 22 in audio format, though. I'll probably wait until they do before finishing the series.