Mysterious, Nov 2001, 23.95, 297 pp.
Parker has two jobs both critical to his well being. One is more along the line of his normal work. Parker is employed to steal stolen art treasures stored in a remote area of Montana. The “owner” Paxton Marino is a computer whiz billionaire so Parker knows he can expect anything and needs an electronic expert along for the ride.
The other job is a bit more personal. Someone hired a pro to kill Parker. He needs to know who and why so he can concentrate on the art theft. The problem is over the years in his line of work Parker has made many enemies who would gladly urinate on his grave. As Parker makes inquiries through his underground connections, he soon realizes the art job resurfaced his name to some nasty people who simply detest him. Still Big Sky is calling and with the help of an electronic genius lunatic, Parker goes to work on purloining the art treasures.
FIREBREAK is the typical Parker tale as the exciting story line is loaded with twists and turns yet the stark plot uses no unnecessary baggage. The tale belongs to Parker who seems relatively mellow compared to his maniacal sidekick (why trust this psychopath is beyond this reviewer). Still, this wild ride across the Northern Plains is an effective anti-hero thriller that proves Richard Stark under that name or as Donald Westlake can still be counted on for top-notch modern day noir.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner