Existential Ennui: Parker Progress Report: Flashfire (2000, Parker #18, Basis for the 2013 ...

“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.

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